Voices from Russia

Friday, 13 December 2013

Link Between Native Americans and Siberia Encoded in DNA History

00 Tlingit people in traditional regalia. Alaska USA. 13.12.13

Tlingit people of Alaska in traditional regalia


Recently, a team of scientists, including seven researchers from Russia, revealed the results of a study on the DNA of the ancient inhabitants of Siberia during the Upper Palaeolithic period. Scientists were able to obtain new data on the early stages of human settlement in various continents, including the Americas. The research confirmed that the first inhabitants of the Americas, the Paleo-Indians, arrived via Beringia, an isthmus between Siberia and Alaska that existed at that time. Scientists consider Altai Krai the genetic birthplace of the first Americans. Their ancestors settled in Siberia and eventually reached the Americas. Whilst the first Americans were thought to have a close genetic relationship with East Asia, until now, scientists weren’t able to determine exactly to which people of the Old World their genes could be most closely be associated with. Through the study, scientists were able to make new conclusions about the makeup of ancient Native Americans.

The team, led by Maanasa Raghavan of the University of Copenhagen, studied the genome of the ancient inhabitants of Siberia and compared these data with the genes of other peoples. They published their results in Nature. The researchers took a DNA sample from the 24,000-year-old skeleton of an ancient inhabitant of Siberia, discovered during excavations in 1928–58 in Usolsky Raion (Irkutsk Oblast), near Malta station. Now, it’s part of the State Hermitage Museum collection. Scientists conducted DNA sequencing on the remains and compared the data with the genomes of individuals belonging to 11 modern ethnic groups, four Eurasian groups (ancestors of modern Mari, Tajiks, Avars, and East Indians), as well as with the genome associated with Denisovans, a subspecies of Homo Sapiens discovered recently in the Altai Mountains. The results showed how the Karitiana, an indigenous people from Brazil, are genetically close to ancient Siberians.

From these results, the study concluded that genes typical of the people of West Eurasia came to the Americas earlier than previously believed… namely 24,000 years ago, during the Upper Palaeolithic period. Furthermore, the data revealed why Native Americans carry haplogroup X, a mitochondrial DNA haplogroup commonly occurring among the peoples of western Eurasia, but not found among East Asians. Lyudmila Osipova, co-author of the study and head of the Population Ethno-Genetics Laboratory at the Institute of Cytology and Genetics SB RAN, said, “The results refer to the early stages of peopling of the continents, particularly Siberia and the Americas. In addition, they have indirect links to the issues of race genesis, although scientists discuss the matter cautiously. However, the issue is biological in nature and deeply connected to the topic of adaptation of human populations and to their different living conditions in different climatic zones of the globe”.

Osipova argued that despite the relatively good degree of research conducted by geneticists on the early peopling of our planet and the identification of early human migration patterns, life is more complicated than any taxonomy, saying, “The question is… ‘At what level of organisation were race genesis processes taking place… Homo sapiens, or, even at earlier stages?’ There are a lot of discoveries still to be made”. According to Osipova, the study confirms an earlier hypothesis about the origins of Native Americans, and provides a great deal of fundamental knowledge on lesser known aspects of migrations, including the movements of the people belonging to the European type towards the territory of Siberia in ancient times.

1 December 2013

Yana Khlyustova

Russia Behind the Headlines




Sunday, 6 October 2013

Siberian Couple Call for Backup as Bear Breaks In, Eats Up All Their Borshch

00 Happy bear. 06.10.13

Yum, yum! Ya got some golumpkies and pierogies to go with this?


Local cops said Saturday that a couple in remote Ust-Ilimsk, in Siberia, called for backup after seeing a wild bear break into their veranda and start eating their dinner. A statement on the Irkutsk Oblast MVD website said that they’d cooked borshch and left it in a saucepan on the veranda to cool. Loud noises in the night woke up the couple, who were sleeping in their sauna whilst their house was under renovation. Then, through the window, they saw a bear prowling around the porch. They called the local community manager who looks after the buildings in the dacha village, and watched, helpless, through their sauna window as the animal broke into their veranda and started eating the soup. The police got a call about the incident at about 01.00, and sent a team to investigate. Once at the scene, police fired shots into the air and managed to scare the bear back into the woods, but not before it had finished off all the borshch. The statement noted that there were several instances of hungry bears heading to inhabited areas and urged locals to be more careful about where they store food.

5 October 2013



Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Only in Russia… EMERCOM Saves Would-Be Jumper’s Life with Vodka

00 Russia. vodka. 30.01.13


On Tuesday, local EMERCOM sources said that first responders in the Siberian city of Irkutsk prevented a local man from jumping to his death with the help of a bottle of vodka. Without specifying when the incident took place, they said that a 28-year-old man, who appeared to be extremely drunk, was threatening to jump from the roof of a five-story residential building. First responders at the scene found it difficult to persuade the man to abandon his suicide attempt, noting, “It was hard negotiating with him; he demanded that we bring him another bottle of vodka or he’d jump”. One of his neighbours finally bought vodka for the man, whilst rescuers prepared a special landing pad to break his fall if he jumped. EMERCOM noted, “Alcohol lulled the young man’s vigilance. Sitting on a drainpipe, he took a gulp from the bottle of vodka, after which he grew thoughtful”. That gave rescuers “enough time to run up to him across the roof and fling a loop over him. Simultaneously, they seized the man by his legs from a balcony below the roof, which prevented him from jumping or falling down”. The man’s motives for threatening to kill himself are not known.

23 July 2013




Sunday, 21 July 2013

21 July 2013. You Can’t Make Up Shit Like This… Fired Circus Assistant Flees with Fox in Siberia

00 vixen fox. cartoon. 21.07.13


So far, a former circus worker who stole a vixen from his former employer has outfoxed police in eastern Siberia and led them on a wild-goose chase. On Friday, the Zabaikalsky Krai Prokuratura said on its official website that they suspect Gennady Pyatibratov, 24, of stealing the fox, called Eva, in revenge after his bosses fired him from his job as a travelling circus assistant for neglecting his duties. Initially, the circus management put the fox’s disappearance in late June down to an unlocked cage. However, a young local woman in Chita, where the circus was performing, said that she met Pyatibratov with a fox on a leash. The report said that the man stopped for a chat; he said that he was going west to Irkutsk. Pyatibratov and Eva remain at large, but police in both Zabaikalsky Krai and Irkutsk Oblast are on the lookout for the man and the vixen. The runaway circus assistant could face theft charges, punishable with up to two years in prison. His motives for taking the animal remain unclear.

19 July 2013




Next Page »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.