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Ancient DNA gives glimpse of ancestors of Native Americans

January 3, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — DNA from an infant who died in Alaska some 11,500 years ago is giving scientists the best look yet at the genetics of the ancestors of today’s native peoples of the Americas.

Decoding the infant’s complete set of DNA let researchers estimate the timing of key events in the ancestral history of today’s Native Americans and indigenous peoples of Canada and Central and South America.

Expert said that while the new work doesn’t radically change the outlines of what scientists have thought, it provides more detail and better evidence than what was available before.

Ancestors of the infant girl split away from the ancestors of other native peoples about 20,000 years ago.

The research was released Wednesday by the journal Nature .

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