• Sun
  • Aug 31, 2014
  • Updated: 6:22pm
NewsChina
GENETICS

Tibetans are genetic mix of Sherpas and Han, US study claims

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 February, 2014, 5:00pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 February, 2014, 3:00am

The genetic make-up of Tibetans is likely the result of a mix of Nepali Sherpas and Han Chinese, according to American scientists.

They say that two ancestral gene pools - one belonging to a group that migrated 30,000 years ago and adapted to high altitudes, and another that migrated more recently from low altitudes - gave rise to Tibetans.

The study led by scientists from the University of Chicago also showed that the transfer of beneficial mutations between the two groups is the key reason why Tibetans are so well adapted to life above 4,000 metres.

Anna Di Rienzo, professor of human genetics at the university and one of the authors of the study, said: "Modern Tibetans appear to descend from populations related to modern Sherpa and Han Chinese. Tibetans carry a roughly even mix of two ancestral genomes."

The research was published in Nature Communications.

A similar study three years ago also suggested the majority of the Tibetan gene pool may have diverged from Han Chinese about 3,000 years ago, but the new study provides more insights.

The team looked at data from 69 Nepali Sherpas and 96 dwellers of the Tibetan Plateau and Yunnan .

"We studied three samples of Tibetans: one from Lhasa, one from Qinghai province and one from Yunnan province," Di Rienzo said.

"We concluded that the three samples analysed originated from an ancient population adapted to high altitude that mixed with migrants from low altitude. Through this mixing, the migrants acquired the genetic adaptations from the high-altitude residents."

Genetic admixture is the result of breeding between two originally separated populations.

In the case of Tibetans, researchers found high-altitude ancestry in the Tibetan genome, indicating that low-altitude migrants received adaptive traits from the highlanders.

But genetic identity is separate from ethnic identity.

"It is important to emphasise that the events we infer are quite ancient, many thousands of years ago. Therefore, we are talking about populations that are 'ancestral' to the contemporary ones, whether they are Han Chinese or Sherpas. It is entirely possible that the ethnic identity of these contemporary groups had not yet formed as such," Di Rienzo said.

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tbartlett
Propagandists in China often lure compliant foreigners, especially those with some scientific qualifications and know very little about China, in order to lend "scientific" prestige to a carefully designed research topic, intending to manipulate the foreign expert as a mouthpiece for China's agenda. This report suggests something like that. Who else at U of Chicago was involved? Very likely there was someone with lower profile but with close connections in China. What was the Chinese agency with whom the U of Chicago scientist/s collaborated? The report refers to "Han Chinese" of 3,000 years ago; this tells us that the scientist knows nothing about China except what the Chinese collaborators have told her. There were no "Han Chinese" 3,000 years ago when the mixing is said to have happened. "Han Chinese" is a modern concept. Why not just say "Chinese"? Because "Chinese" has been drastically re-defined in the last 100 years to include people who had never before been considered Chinese, by anyone. Such people are Mongolians, Tibetans, Uighurs, et al. Historically speaking, before the 20th century Republic of China, the "Han" were the "Chinese". It has become necessary to invent the new term "Han Chinese" because Tibetans, Mongolians, Uighurs, and others have recently been redefined as "Chinese". The whole thing is a depressingly familiar type of pretentious propaganda.
bolshoi
So not only are Hans and Tibetans linked linguistically but also genetically... It all makes sense now.
realestate
Tibetans are one of most warm and friendliest people
HiggsSinglet
Hans are a horny bunch!!! They will breed you to extinction!!!
xiaoblueleaf
No doubt Tibatans from Yunan, Sichuan and Eastern Tibet
including Kham had had genes of Han through intermarriages.
Such studies had neglected gene pool from Ngari, western end
of Tibet bordering India, Kashmir,Tajistan and today's Xinjiang
with which Tibet must have had much intercourse; including
Aryans from Central Siberia who went through to Afghanistan to
India. Enough to be said that Tibet's distinct culture and heritag
remains most valuable to human civilization.
 
 
 
 
 

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