15.09.2019 - 23:02
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Veranstaltungen

Toward a New History and Geography of Human Genes Informed by Ancient DNA
September 18, 2019 15:00
Speaker: David Reich, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA
The Institute Seminar Series

more information

Location:
MPI-EVA, Lecture hall, 2nd floor

Abstract:
- 15:00 David Reich: Toward a New History and Geography of Human Genes Informed by Ancient DNA

- 16:30 Discussion and soft drinks just outside the lecture hall

Summary: Beginning in 2010 - in large part to developments at the MPI-EVA - it began to be possible to sequence whole genomes from ancient human remains and to address previously mysterious questions about relationships among ancient humans. A measure of the importance of a new scientific instrument is the extent to which it changes our understanding of the world when we turn it for the first time on something that has not previously been analyzed by this methodology. By this measure, ancient DNA is comparable to revolutionary instruments like the microscope, revealing unanticipated phenomena such as the existence of the Denisovans and their interbreeding with modern humans. In my talk I will focus on another vista opened by ancient DNA: its use for revealing how the world’s present-day diversity got to be the way it is today. My lab has focused on generating ancient DNA in sample sizes large enough to build up a high-resolution picture of human variation not just in the present time slice in which we are trapped, but in multiple time slices going back to when the ancestors of present groups diverged. In addition to generating data resources, we also focus on developing new statistical methods and population genetic and computational frameworks that make it possible to ask new questions of data. I will highlight four topics. First, I will discuss how ancient DNA has revealed that major mixture has been a central theme in our species, a fact not widely appreciated before the last five years. Second, I will discuss studies that documented how movements of people from the Steppe north of the Black and Caspian Sea transformed Europe and South Asia 5,000-3,500 years ago, probably spreading the Indo-European languages that are predominant in both regions. Third, I will discuss how ancient DNA studies are now making as great an impact on our understanding of the demographic history of America, Africa, and East Asia as they have in western Eurasia. Fourth, I will highlight the potential of ancient DNA to reveal as much about the nature of biological adaptation as it has revealed about migrations by integrating ancient DNA studies with the rich information from medical genetics.

Some information on the speaker and a list of his publications can be found at https://reich.hms.harvard.edu/

The series featuring internal and external speakers takes place roughly every 1-2 months on Friday early afternoons. The committee organizing the seminar series consists of: Bret Beheim, Catherine Crockford, Stephanie Melillo, Mark Stoneking, Sandra Jacob and Jörg Noack. Please contact any of them with comments or suggestions.

Contact:
Sandra Jacob, -122 or -156

E-mail: jacob[>>> Please replace the brackets with an AT sign! <<<]eva.mpg.de

Title to be announced
October 11, 2019 14:00
Speaker: Virpi Lummaa, Human Life History Group, University of Turku, Finland
The Institute Seminar Series

more information

Location:
MPI-EVA, Lecture hall, 2nd floor

Abstract:
- 14:00 Virpi Lummaa: Title to be announced

- 15:30 Discussion and soft drinks just outside the lecture hall

Some information on the speaker and a list of her publications can be found at http://human-life-history.science/group-members

The series featuring internal and external speakers takes place roughly every 1-2 months on Friday early afternoons. The committee organizing the seminar series consists of: Bret Beheim, Catherine Crockford, Stephanie Melillo, Mark Stoneking, Sandra Jacob and Jörg Noack. Please contact any of them with comments or suggestions.

Contact:
Sandra Jacob, -122 or -156

E-mail: jacob[>>> Please replace the brackets with an AT sign! <<<]eva.mpg.de