Ancient Native American DNA remains present ethical minefield

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Image via Nature. Credit: Robert L. Walker

The remains of a young boy, ceremonially buried some 12,600 years ago in Montana, have revealed the ancestry of one of the earliest populations in the Americas, known as the Clovis culture.

The boy’s genome sequence shows that today’s indi­genous groups spanning North and South America are all descended from a single population that trekked across the Bering land bridge from Asia. The analysis also points to an early split between the ancestors of the Clovis people and a second group, whose DNA lives on in populations in Canada and Greenland.

But the research underscores the ethical minefield of studying ancient Native American remains, and rekindles memories of a bruising legal fight over a different human skeleton in the 1990s.

Read the full, original story: Ancient genome stirs ethics debate

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