Thursday, November 24, 2005

My Indian origins: Y-chromosome typing (on AIT)

Reproducing an intresting post by Ratan on Orkut:

a) So I had my DNA typed for $100 at , inspired by some of the HGxyz discussions here. It turned up to be M17 aka R1a aka HG3. National Geographic claims that this originated in Southern Russia or Ukraine ("European origin," says the video on the site). Caution: I thought they would also type my mtDNA (Maternal Lineage) but they didn't.

b) Then I began to educate myself on this some more. Apparently, Iran has a very low incidence of R1a. India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia are the hot-zones for it. Apparently, if you are English and have R1a, it indicates a Viking ancestry -

c) The National Geographic website informed me that speakers of Indo-Aryan languages have a strong incidence of this type ("haplogroup") and speakers of Dravidian do not. And, basically, that my forefather somewhere, sometime was likely a Kurgan (proto-Indo-European) who wintered in what they're calling the Ukranian refuge (a not-completely-frozen area during the last Ice Age). The ftdna site finds someone alive and on the system today that has an exact 12str Y-chromosome match with me - some dude in Germany (ie. not only is he R1a, his variant of R1a is pretty close to mine - implying a more near-term common ancestor, maybe 5000 years or so).

d) Then I read this - - apparently, hardcore Dravidian and Tribal populations in India show almost exactly the *same* incidence of this "European" R1a as do Northwestern Indians like myself. If I have Eurasian steppes roots, so do they. And I read stuff that says that the R1a variation within India is greater than that in Europe. Which *directly* implies an Indian or Indian-proximity origin for R1a (the so-called "founder effect"). I did find this one paper disputing this and claiming greater diversity in Croatia, but that's it (also, there is a theory, from a European, that the Croatian name for Croatia = Hrvati is a derivative of the Iranian Harahvati, which is basically Persianized Sarasvati - ).

e) Suddenly, what Anurag says doesn't seem so far fetched after all. A third of Norwegians are R1a - a haplogroup that seems to have originated in India in the last 10-15,000 years. Koya and Chenchu tribals in South India share the same paternity. What does this indicate? Needless to say, AIT looks pretty shaky to me at this point, at least genetically speaking.

f) I do not approach this with any agenda either way. Would love to hear other people's thoughts. Also, if you've had your ancestry typed, I'd like to hear about it as well.

Peace, brotherhood and friendship to all, regardless of your chromosomes :-).


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