Posts Tagged ‘origins’

University of Arizona’s Michael Hammer, a population geneticist, has been investigating the migration of ancient Asians into the New World. Scientists are now investigating base pair variation or single nucleotide polymorphisms, to reconstruct family trees dating back thousands of years ago.

Homo erectus

Through research, Hammer has discovered a sequence on the X chromosome that suggests that modern humans that arrived in Asia bred with “archaic hominids” called Homo erectus. Hammer hopes that modern human DNA will contain small bits of information that can be used to trace back to the archaic form.

Hammer’s research tests the “Out of Africa” theory that modern humans (homo sapiens) evolved in Africa, and migrated into the rest of the world, replacing inferior species such as Homo erectus and the Neanderthals.

Hammer uses polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, to copy the samples of DNA that he takes from the Y chromosome, which is passed from father to son. The Y chromosome was believed to have no polymorphic diversity, but Hammer explained that is not entirely true. The Y chromosome does have diversity, one must look at hundreds of sequences to find these diversities however.

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)

Hammer found polymorphisms in the Y chromosome and started to construct a family tree of these polymorphisms, which lead back to a comman African ancestor dating back over 100,000 years ago.

Hammer is continuing his research in hopes to trace the roots of humankind.


Read Full Post »

Etruscan Warrior

To this day, the origins of Venice remain somewhat of a mystery. Little historical information is available about the migration of peoples into the Veneto region, but that has not stopped historians from forming theories about the origins. According to Grant Allen, the origins of Venice are actually a story of refugee.

It is believed that the Veneto region was first occupied by an Etruscan population around 3000 BCE. Centuries later, the Veneti, an Illyrian tribe, became the primary inhabitants of the Veneto region. The country of Veneti was established after the nation was Romanized, and Padua was established as the capital.

Atilla's Invasion of Italy

In 453 ACE, Attila and the Huns invaded Italy, destroying Padua, and the anciet city of Altinum. Refugees from the cities fled to islands within the Italian lagoon, settling on an island called Torcello (commonly referred to as the Mother City of Venice). A second invasion in 568, by the Lombards, forced Romanized and Christian Veneti into the lagoon as well, settling in Rivo Alto, Malamocco, and Torcello. The refugees settled as far in as the Venezia islands, which now constitute modern day Venice.

Paulucius Anafestus is believed to have been the first Doge (or Duke) of lagoon nation, elected in the year 697. The Veneto region remained somewhat unscaved for the next several centuries, until Charlemagne founded the new Roman Empire in the west, in the eight century. The Venetians fled from Malamocco to Rivo Alto when King Pepin threatened to invade the lagoon, but were successful in defending their nation in 809.

The seat of government was moved from Malamocco to Rivo Alto (or Rialto), which is present day Venice. A new palace was constructed for Doge Angelus Participotius. Venice became very rich and prosperous, as it laid on a trade route between western and eastern Europe. Venice benefited from the crippling Crusades during the eleventh century, and continued to increase commerce and trade as it harbored all of Europe.

Read Full Post »