Friday, 5 April 2013

National Geographic, Genographic 2.0 and my Venezuelan genes

The Genographic Project 2.0 started around October and results started to pour in at the end of last year. National Geographic is carrying out a much more detailed genetic testing than in the first Genographic project. In the first one you could get either information about the origins of your ultimate paternal or maternal branches. Now you get that in much more detail and you get information about the influence of different ethnic groups in your mix based on autosomal DNA, which is the one that gets (more or less) randomly mixed at each conception. You also get a share estimate of Neardenthal influence. There is  more raw data you get and you can use to play around if you are really into population genetics.


My results fit very well with the profile of many Venezuelans. As a reference: if we took just the shares of Mediterranean, North European and Southwest Asian, I have more or less the same share as Iberians, with a meaningful bit more from the Middle East, which links me somehow to that area. We don't know if it is through Jewish, Phoenician, Roman influence (Italians have more of a share than Iberians) or something else. All in all: my European part seems to fit rather the Iberian type.

Native American

I have a meaningful portion of Native American influence. If you check here and simply convert the "component measure" to usual percentage (x 100), you will see that Venezuelans from Caracas private clinics range from 16% of native American influence to 36% (bear in mind, though, that that study was carried out over 8 years ago and a lot has happened in population genetics since then).

One of the things I found fascinating is this 3% of "Northeastern Asian". You see: this group is usually found in Japanese, Northern Chinese, Koreans and Siberian ethnicities. They are also found often in Finns and other Uraltic people and in other groups in Asia in a small scale.

Results from Peruvians, Mexicans and Mexican US Americans show rather, apart from the distinct "Native American" portion, shares from Southeast Asia and Oceania, not from Northeastern Asia.
Very approximate map of Arawac languages as spoken before and now...many other language families completely independent from Arawacs and Caribs lived around and in those areas

Very approximate map of Carib languages as spoken before and now

My guess is that we see the effect of different migrations from Asia to the Americas and that there was a Venezuelan indigenous group that got influence from the Northernmost Asian groups and this is still shown in our genes. They somehow remained different enough so that they pop up in a different category. It would be interesting if more Venezuelans and perhaps people from the Guyanas could take this test and see if a similar Northeast Asian patterns pops up.

I wrote a couple of posts about some very initial studies carried out in Venezuela that show a different distribution of the common maternal haglogroups of native American origin, differences that might be related to the different tribes. One of the key studies carried out in this area in Venezuela can be read here. I think the results I got may also have to do with that. We know the Warao speak radically different languages from the Arawac or Carib groups, for instance.

More to come...
(sub-Saharan Africans and more)

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