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Y Chromosomes Reveal Population Boom and Bust in Ancient Japan

Posted by Jean-Yves on Jun 21, 2019
 

Researchers at the University of Tokyo conducted a census of the Japanese population around 2,500 years ago using the Y chromosomes of men living on the main islands of modern-day Japan. This is the first time analysis of modern genomes has estimated the size of an ancient human population before they were met by a separate ancient population.

“Evidence at archaeological dig sites has been used to estimate the size of ancient human populations, but the difficulty and unpredictability of finding those sites is a big limitation. Now we have a method that uses a large amount of modern data,” said Associate Professor Jun Ohashi, an expert in human evolutionary genetics and leader of the research team that performed the analysis.

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