[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Numerous studies of human populations in Europe and Asia have revealed a concordance between their extant genetic structure and the prevailing regional pattern of geography and language. For native South Americans, however, such evidence has been lacking so far. Therefore, we examined the relationship between Y-chromosomal genotype on the one hand, and male geographic origin and linguistic affiliation on the other, in the largest study of South American natives to date in terms of sampled individuals and populations. A total of 1,011 individuals, representing 50 tribal populations from 81 settlements, were genotyped for up to 17 short tandem repeat (STR) markers and 16 single nucleotide polymorphisms (Y-SNPs), the latter resolving phylogenetic lineages Q and C. Virtually no structure became apparent for the extant Y-chromosomal genetic variation of South American males that could sensibly be related to their inter-tribal geographic and linguistic relationships. This continent-wide decoupling is consistent with a rapid peopling of the continent followed by long periods of isolation in small groups. Furthermore, for the first time, we identified a distinct geographical cluster of Y-SNP lineages C-M217 (C3*) in South America. Such haplotypes are virtually absent from North and Central America, but occur at high frequency in Asia. Together with the locally confined Y-STR autocorrelation observed in our study as a whole, the available data therefore suggest a late introduction of C3* into South America no more than 6,000 years ago, perhaps via coastal or trans-Pacific routes. Extensive simulations revealed that the observed lack of haplogroup C3* among extant North and Central American natives is only compatible with low levels of migration between the ancestor populations of C3* carriers and non-carriers. In summary, our data highlight the fact that a pronounced correlation between genetic and geographic/cultural structure can only be expected under very specific conditions, most of which are likely not to have been met by the ancestors of native South Americans.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study is to provide an effective and quick reference guide based on the most useful European formulae recently published for subadult age estimation. All of these formulae derive from studies on postnatal growth of the scapula, innominate, femur, and tibia, based on modern skeletal data (173 ♂, 173 ♀) from five documented collections from Spain, Portugal, and Britain. The formulae were calculated from Inverse Regression. For this reason, these formulae are especially useful for modern samples from Western Europe and in particular on 20th century human remains from the Iberian Peninsula. Eleven formulae were selected as the most useful because they can be applied to individuals from within a wide age range and in individuals of unknown sex. Due to their high reliability and because they derive from documented European skeletal samples, we recommend these formulae be used on individuals of Caucasoid ancestry from Western Europe.
Journal of Forensic Sciences 10/2012; · 1.24 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Molar occlusal microwear texture and anisotropy analyses of 3 Australopithecus anamensis fossil specimens have shown complexity values similar to those of Au. afarensis, indicating that neither of these hominin species had a diet dominated by hard food. However, many researchers have suggested that these were some of the earliest hominins to have such diets. Here we examine buccal microwear patterns of 5 Au. anamensis, 26 Au. afarensis, 48 Hominoidea and 80 Cercopithecoidea primate specimens for independent evidence of dietary adaptations of Au. anamensis. The buccal microwear results obtained suggest that the diet of Au. anamensis relied heavily on hard, brittle food, at least seasonally. This is similar to the diet of the extant Cercopithecoidea primates, including Papio anubis and Chlorocebus aethiops, both of which live in wooded, seasonal savannah environments and have diets that include fruit and grasses, but also underground storage organs (USOs), such as corms or blades, as well as leaves and seeds, and also Mandrillus and Cercocebus, from forested environments with frugivorous-granivorous diets. Furthermore, the buccal microwear patterns of Au. anamensis and Au. afarensis clearly differed - in clear contrast to occlusal enamel texture observations-, which support previous dietary interpretations based on both anatomical and palaeocological reconstructions.
Journal of anthropological sciences 07/2012; · 1.70 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The goal of the present study is to examine cross-sectional information on the growth of the humerus based on the analysis of four measurements, namely, diaphyseal length, transversal diameter of the proximal (metaphyseal) end of the shaft, epicondylar breadth and vertical diameter of the head. This analysis was performed in 181 individuals (90 ♂ and 91 ♀) ranging from birth to 25 years of age and belonging to three documented Western European skeletal collections (Coimbra, Lisbon and St. Bride). After testing the homogeneity of the sample, the existence of sexual differences (Student's t- and Mann-Whitney U-test) and the growth of the variables (polynomial regression) were evaluated. The results showed the presence of sexual differences in epicondylar breadth above 20 years of age and vertical diameter of the head from 15 years of age, thus indicating that these two variables may be of use in determining sex from that age onward. The growth pattern of the variables showed a continuous increase and followed first- and second-degree polynomials. However, growth of the transversal diameter of the proximal end of the shaft followed a fourth-degree polynomial. Strong correlation coefficients were identified between humeral size and age for each of the four metric variables. These results indicate that any of the humeral measurements studied herein is likely to serve as a useful means of estimating sub-adult age in forensic samples.
Deutsche Zeitschrift für die Gesamte Gerichtliche Medizin 05/2012; · 2.69 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study is to analyze the sexual dimorphism of the clavicle taking into account its
directional asymmetry and to provide useful algorithms for sexual diagnosis. This analysis was
performed in 77 modern adult individuals of Madrid origin (45 men and 32 women) ranging from
20 to 92 years of age and belonging from the collection of the University Complutense of Madrid.
Two kinds of measurements were taken, one directly from the bone (maximum length, the perimeter
at the middle and, acromial and esternal epiphysis width) and the other indirectly from photographic
images (angle and sagita). After checking the consistence of the measurements by a Medieval
sample from Palencia, the sexual dimorphism and the directional asymmetry of the left and
right clavicles were analyzed by Student’s T test. Secondly, a Principal Components Analysis
(PCA) was applied to evaluate the degree of variable implication in sexual dimorphism. Finally, a
discriminant analysis was carried out on each clavicular side. The results indicated that: 1) males
have higher average values than females in all the variables with the exception of the angle; 2) in
males, the average values of the acromial and esternal width of the right clavicle are higher than
those of the left; y 3) sexual dimorphism is manifested mainly by variables related to the clavicular
size. Finally, 2 functions were obtained, one for left clavicles and another for the right, based on
clavicle length and the perimeter at the middle, which showed an accuracy of over 92%.
Revista Española de Antropologigía Física. 01/2012; 33:30-43.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The growth of five variables of the tibia (diaphyseal length, diaphyseal length plus distal epiphysis, condylo-malleolar length, sagittal diameter of the proximal epiphysis, maximum breadth of the distal epiphysis) were analysed using polynomial regression in order to evaluate their significance and capacity for age and sex determination during and after growth. Data were collected from 181 (90♂ and 91♀) individuals ranging from birth to 25 years of age and belonging to three documented collections from Western Europe. Results indicate that all five variables exhibit linear behaviour during growth, which can be expressed by a first-degree polynomial function. Sexual significant differences were observed from age 15 onward in the two epiphysis measurements and condylo-malleolar length, suggesting that these three variables could be useful for sex determination in individuals older than 15 years. Strong correlation coefficients were identified between the five tibial variables and age. These results indicate that any of the studied tibial measurements is likely to serve as a useful source for estimating sub-adult age in both archaeological and forensic samples.
Forensic science international 08/2011; 214(1-3):207.e1-11. · 2.10 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Most current methods for adult skeletal age-at-death estimation are based on American samples comprising individuals of European and African ancestry. Our limited understanding of population variability hampers our efforts to apply these techniques to various skeletal populations around the world, especially in global forensic contexts. Further, documented skeletal samples are rare, limiting our ability to test our techniques. The objective of this paper is to test three pelvic macroscopic methods [(1) Suchey-Brooks; (2) Lovejoy; and (3) Buckberry and Chamberlain] on a documented modern Spanish sample. These methods were selected because they are popular among Spanish anthropologists and because they never have been tested in a Spanish sample. The study sample consists of 80 individuals (55 males and 25 females) of known sex and age from the Valladolid collection. Results indicate that in all three methods, levels of bias and inaccuracy increase with age. The Lovejoy method performs poorly (27%) compared with Suchey-Brooks (71%) and Buckberry and Chamberlain (86%). However, the levels of correlation between phases and chronological ages are low and comparable in the three methods (<0.395). The apparent accuracy of the Suchey-Brooks and Buckberry and Chamberlain methods is largely based on the broad width of the methods' estimated intervals. This study suggests that before systematic application of these three methodologies in Spanish populations, further statistical modeling and research into the covariance of chronological age with morphological change are necessary. Future methods should be developed specific to various world populations and should allow for both precision and flexibility in age estimation.
Deutsche Zeitschrift für die Gesamte Gerichtliche Medizin 06/2011; 126(1):145-55. · 2.69 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Este estudio analiza los 24 individuos exhumados en el yacimiento Carrer Ample 1 de Barcelona.
Se trata de un complejo funerario tardorromano (S. II-IV d.C) situado al sudoeste de Barcino. Los
resultados paleodemográficos indican que se trata de 10 hombres, 6 mujeres y 8 subadultos con
una esperanza de vida al nacer de 27 años. Los datos antropométricos muestran la gracilidad del
esqueleto con un dimorfismo sexual poco acentuado en lo referente a la robustez de los huesos
largos, pero evidente en la estatura. La talla media de los hombres resulta baja en relación a la de
sus contemporáneos, la femenina se ajusta mejor a la de otras series peninsulares. El análisis del
crecimiento de los individuos infantiles resulta parecido al observado en época industrial, indicando
posiblemente unas condiciones de vida poco favorables. Las patologías más destacables son:
caries, fracturas, fusión de huesos del carpo y un posible osteoma en el occipital. Los datos antropológicos
obtenidos de Carrer Ample 1 junto con los arqueológicos son indicativos de una modesta
posición social de los individuos.
Revista Española de Antropología Física. 01/2011; 32:1-19.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A recent study of occlusal microwear in Australopithecus afarensis described this species as an opportunistic dweller, living in both forested and open environments and greatly relying on fallback resources and using fewer food-processing activities than previously suggested. In the present study, analysis of buccal microwear variability in a sample of A. afarensis specimens (n=75 teeth) showed no significant correlations with the ecological shift that took place around 3.5Ma in Africa. These results are consistent with the occlusal microwear data available. In fact, significant correlations between buccal and occlusal microwear variables were found. However, comparison of the buccal microwear patterns showed clear similarities between A. afarensis and those hominoid species living in somewhat open environments, especially the Cameroon gorillas. A diet based mainly on succulent fruits and seasonal fallback resources would be consistent with the buccal microwear patterns observed.
Journal of Human Evolution 10/2009; 57(6):739-50. · 4.09 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The extent of racemization of aspartic acid (Asp) – expressed as d/l ratio – has been used as a marker of biomolecular degradation in ancient remains. However, Asp racemization rate is highly variable, and depends on biochemical and geochemical factors. In this paper we aim to determine to which extent the fraction analyzed and the kind of sample used may influence the d/l Asp ratios. Other factors, such as burial site and sample preservation conditions, are also considered.d/l Asp ratios were obtained in 38 ancient human samples from 30 different individuals in which Real Time PCR quantification and amplification of short mtDNA fragments had been previously achieved. Four samples were taken from bones, 16 from whole teeth and 18 from dentine. In 7 cases whole tooth and dentine fractions from the same individual were analyzed. The samples belonged to 8 archaeological sites from Pre-pottery Neolithic B (PPNB), Cardial Neolithic and Chalcolithic time periods. Results show significant differences between the d/l Asp ratios obtained in dentine and whole tooth fractions from the same tooth and individual, as well as among dentine samples from the same archaeological site and among samples of the same age from different, though nearby, archaeological sites. Ancient DNA (aDNA) could be characterized in the majority of the samples, independently from their racemization values, which suggests that other factors, apart from the sample preservation stage, are more significantly affecting the racemization rate. A generalized use of the Asp racemization ratio as a threshold value for ancient DNA preservation needs to be questioned until further methodological standardization is considered.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Seventeen Y-STRs included in AmpFlSTR Yfiler PCR Amplification Kit (Applied Biosystems, USA) were studied in males from a multi ethnical population from El Beni Department (North Bolivia). Haplotypic and allelic frequencies were reported. Comparison of El Beni population with other samples from the region was carried out through Multidimensional Scalling over Rst distances matrix.
Legal Medicine 11/2008; 11(2):101-3. · 1.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This report presents allele frequency and absolute genotype data of the short tandem repeat (STR) loci HUMTH01, HUMVWA31A, HUMCSF1PO and HUMTPOX for three autochthonous Amerindian populations living in the Beni Department of Bolivia. These related groups are the Quechua, Aymara and Beni populations all living in specific although sometimes overlapping areas that extend from the Andean habitat to the lowland Llanos de Moxos savannah passing through the Piedmont hills. The usefulness of these loci for paternity and identification testing was also examined. The present work completes previous genetic studies performed by the authors in these populations including mtDNA haplogroups (Bert et al., Hum Biol, 73:1-16, 2001) and HVRI data (Bert et al., Ann Hum Biol 31:9-28, 2004; Corella et al., Ann Hum Biol 34:34-35, 2007).
Annals of Human Biology 01/2008; 35(5):556-64. · 1.48 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The extent of racemization of aspartic acid (Asp) -expressed as D/L ratio- has been used as a marker of biomolecular degradation in ancient remains. However, Asp racemization rate is highly variable, and depends on biochemical and geochemical factors. In this paper we aim to determine to which extent the fraction analyzed and the kind of sample used may influence the D/L Asp ratios. Other factors, such as burial site and sample preservation conditions, are also considered. D/L Asp ratios were obtained in 38 ancient human samples from 30 different individuals in which Real Time PCR quantification and amplification of short mtDNA fragments had been previously achieved. Four samples were taken from bones, 16 from whole teeth and 18 from dentine. In 7 cases whole tooth and dentine fractions from the same individual were analyzed. The samples belonged to 8 archaeological sites from Pre-pottery Neolithic B (PPNB), Cardial Neolithic and Chalcolithic time periods. Results show significant differences between the D/L Asp ratios obtained in dentine and whole tooth fractions from the same tooth and individual, as well as among dentine samples from the same archaeological site and among samples of the same age from different, though nearby, archaeological sites. Ancient DNA (aDNA) could be characterized in the majority of the samples, independently from their racemization values, which suggests that other factors, apart from the sample preservation stage, are more significantly affecting the racemization rate. A generalized use of the Asp racemization ratio as a threshold value for ancient DNA preservation needs to be questioned until further methodological standardization is considered.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chimane, Moseten Aymara and Quechua are Amerindian populations living in the Bolivian Piedmont, a characteristic ecoregion between the eastern slope of the Andean mountains and the Amazonian Llanos de Moxos. In both neighbouring areas, dense and complex societies have developed over the centuries. The Piedmont area is especially interesting from a human peopling perspective since there is no clear evidence regarding the genetic influence and peculiarities of these populations. This land has been used extensively as a territory of economic and cultural exchange between the Andes and Amazonia, however Chimane and Moseten populations have been sufficiently isolated from their neighbour groups to be recognized as distinct populations. Genetic information suggests that evolutionary processes, such as genetic drift, natural selection and genetic admixture have formed the history of the Piedmont populations.
The objective of this study is to characterize the genetic diversity of the Piedmont populations, analysing the sequence variability of the HVR-I control region in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Haplogroup mtDNA data available from the whole of Central and South America were utilized to determine the relationship of the Piedmont populations with other Amerindian populations.
Hair pulls were obtained in situ, and DNA from non-related individuals was extracted using a standard Chelex 100 method. A 401 bp DNA fragment of HVR-I region was amplified using standard procedures. Two independent 401 and 328 bp DNA fragments were sequenced separately for each sample. The sequence analyses included mismatch distribution and mean pairwise differences, median network analyses, AMOVA and principal component analyses. The genetic diversity of DNA sequences was measured and compared with other South Amerindian populations.
The genetic diversity of 401 nucleotide mtDNA sequences, in the hypervariable Control Region, from positions 16 000-16 400, was characterized in a sample of 46 Amerindians living in the Piedmont area in the Beni Department of Bolivia. The results obtained indicate that the genetic diversity in the area is higher than that observed in other American groups living in much larger areas and despite the reduced size of the studied area the human groups analysed show high levels of inter-group variability. In addition, results show that Amerindian populations living in the Piedmont are genetically more related to those in the Andean than in the Amazonian populations.
Annals of Human Biology 01/2007; 34(1):34-55. · 1.48 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dental casting is a very common procedure for making high-quality replicas of paleo-anthropological remains. Replicas are frequently used, instead of original remains, to study both fossil and extant Primate teeth in morphological and metrical analyses. Several commercial products can be used in molds. This study analyzed SEM image resolution and enamel surface feature definition of tooth molds at various magnification levels and obtained, with both Coltène and 3M low-viscosity body polyvinylsiloxane impression, materials and polyurethane casts. Results, through comparison with the original teeth, show that both the negative molds and the positive casts are highly reliable in replicating enamel surfaces. However, positive cast quality is optimal for SEM observation only till the fourth consecutive replica from the original mold, especially at high SEM magnification levels.
Microscopy Research and Technique 05/2006; 69(4):246-52. · 1.59 Impact Factor