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We systematically estimated gene flow between Eurasian groups using genome-wide polymorphisms from 34 populations representing Europeans, East Asians, and Central/South Asians.We identified recent gene flow between Europeans and Asians in most populations we studied, including East Asians and Northwestern Europeans, which are normally considered to be non-admixed populations.The Conversation UK receives funding from Hefce, Hefcw, SAGE, SFC, RCUK, The Nuffield Foundation, The Ogden Trust, The Royal Society, The Wellcome Trust, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The Alliance for Useful Evidence, as well as sixty five university members.View the full list DNA holds the story of our ancestry – how we’re related to the familiar faces at family reunions as well as more ancient affairs: how we’re related to our closest nonhuman relatives, chimpanzees; how mated with Neanderthals; and how people migrated out of Africa, adapting to new environments and lifestyles along the way.Historical records indicate that extensive cultural, commercial and technological interaction occurred between European and Asian populations.What have been the biological consequences of these contacts in terms of gene flow?Of course, brain surgery was done a lot differently then as well. There were no kind, generous souls lining up to grow their hair, only to have it cut and be made into natural hair wigs so that you may be spared the embarrassment of wearing a synthetic wig that as much resembled your real hair as much as a fur ball resembles cat fur. Well, as my loving Dad would say, “allow enough exaggeration to emphasize the point”.In my case, they removed my hair and my skull, and repaired, after 22 hours of surgery, a tortuous tangle of blood cells, between the arteries and veins, which was determined to be a congenital (there since birth) and hereditary (my mom had one, too), AVM. I went out with this particular guy on and off, for about five years.
This raises the question of whether genetic admixture occurred during the interaction between people from different regions, particularly between Europe and East Asia.
Traditionally researchers built timelines of human prehistory based on fossils and artifacts, which can be directly dated with methods such as radiocarbon dating and Potassium-argon dating.
However, these methods require ancient remains to have certain elements or preservation conditions, and that is not always the case.
Interestingly, we observed a North-to-South decline of European gene flow in East Asians, suggesting a northern path of European gene flow diffusing into East Asian populations.
Our findings contribute to an improved understanding of the history of human migration and the evolutionary mechanisms that have shaped the genetic structure of populations in Eurasia.