College of Liberal Arts

Genetic Study Confirms Link Between Earliest Americans and Modern Native Americans

Posted May 16, 2014

By Jessica Sinn

The ancient remains of a teenage girl found in an underwater Mexican cave establish a definitive link between the earliest Americans and modern Native Americans, according to a new study released today in the journalScience.

The study was conducted by an international team of researchers from 13 institutions, including Deborah Bolnick, assistant professor of anthropology at The University of Texas at Austin, who analyzed DNA from the remains simultaneously with independent researchers at Washington State University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The findings have major implications for our understanding of the origins of the Western Hemisphere’s first people and their relationship to contemporary Native Americans.

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