DNA Research Shows Asian Farmers Peopled The Pacific Islands
3,000 year old skeletons from Vanuatu, Tonga show little to no Papuan DNA
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 4, 2016) – A professor from New Zealand's Massey University has proven farmers from Asia were the first people to settle in the Pacific, thousands of years ago.
The research, which has been published in the journal, Nature, comes from DNA extracted from 3000-year-old skeletons in Vanuatu and Tonga.
It refutes the belief that early Pacific settlers were of predominantly Papuan ancestry.
[PIR editor's note: On October 4, 2016 TVNZ reported that 'the research showed that ancient settlers had little to no Papuan ancestry, proving that the first people to reach Oceania were from Asian farming groups, with later movements bringing Papuan genes into the region. ... The other scenario was that farming groups moving out of Asia mixed with Papuans near New Guinea and created a mixed group with both ancestries, and the mixed group settling in the Pacific.']
One of the co-authors of the research, Professor Murray Cox, said the research could bring about health improvements for Maori and Pasifika people by helping scientists better understand their genetic makeup's.
"By understanding what genes they got from where and what those genes do we hope to have a better understanding of what is happening in these populations today and from that, better healthcare outcomes."
Radio New Zealand International
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