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Race and ethnicity

Mexicans Are Asian (And Other Shockers About the First Americans)

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Fri, Jul 13, 2012 at 8:08 AM
click to enlarge Latin American Asians.
  • Latin American Asians.

This particular author loves to see the look on the faces of some pan-Pacific immigrants when he tells them Asians and Mexicans are brothers and sisters from way back; we're practically related. (It's a look of repulsion, shock and denial, followed by vomiting.)

Of course, all humans are brothers and sisters from way back, no matter how repulsed you are.

New research not only confirms that original inhabitants of the Americas came from Asia, but that ...

... they came in three waves over the Bering Strait's then-frozen "land bridge."

That according to a paper published this week in the journal Nature by University College London genetics Professor Andres Ruiz-Linares.

click to enlarge UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON
  • University College London

Ruiz-Linares and his team studied 300,000 DNA sequence variations from 52 Native American and 17 Siberian groups and concluded that there were three key waves of movement over the Bering Strait to America.

The migration happened about 15,000 years ago.

Study co-author David Reich of Harvard Medical School:

There are at least three deep lineages in Native American populations. The Asian lineage leading to First Americans is the most anciently diverged, whereas the Asian lineages that contributed some of the DNA to Eskimo-Aleut speakers and the Na-Dene-speaking Chipewyan from Canada are more closely related to present-day East Asian populations.

The report doesn't appear to address other recent research suggesting that some indigenous Americans might have also come here from Asia by sea. (They were the original surfers.)

Of course, Mexicans and other Latin Americans are usually comprised of a mix of native and European blood, but the connections to Asia are often overlooked.

This research highlights the idea that Asians settled the Americas first -- and they kept coming, long before Columbus, Arnold Schwarzenegger or the advent of Home Depot.

Ruiz-Linares:

... Our research settles this debate: Native Americans do not stem from a single migration. Our study also begins to cast light on patterns of human dispersal within the Americas.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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