This study aimed to compare self-reported weight and body mass index (BMI) in order to determine discrepancies between subjective and objective obesity-related markers, and possible explanatory factors of overweight and obesity underestimation, in urban, rural and migrant populations.
Materials and Methods
Data from the PERU MIGRANT study, a cross-sectional study, in low-income settings, of urban, migrant (rural-to-urban), and rural groups, including BMI, self-reported weight and socio-demographic indicators were analyzed. Percentage of concurrences between BMI and self-reported weight and Kappa coefficients for inter-rater agreement were calculated. Univariate and standardized descriptive analyses were performed to identify potential explanatory variables for weight underestimation in only overweight and obese individuals, using established BMI and waist circumference cut offs.
983 Participants–199 urban, 583 migrants and 201 rural–were analyzed. Based on BMI, overall prevalence of obesity was 20.1% (95% CI 17.6%–22.6%), and overweight was 38.3% (95% CI 35.2%–41.2%), with differences between study groups (p<0.001). Only 43% of the whole sample had matching self-reported weight and BMI status, whereas 54% underestimated and 3% overestimated their BMI category. Kappa coefficient, between BMI and self-reported weight, for the entire sample was 0.16, rural residents had the lowest coefficient (0.01) and the most underestimation, especially in the overweight category. In overweight and obese individuals, deprivation index (p = 0.016), age (p = 0.014) and waist circumference (p<0.001) were associated with weight underestimation.
Overall, high levels of overweight, obesity, and underestimation of BMI status were found, with poor agreement between BMI and self-reported weight, showing the unawareness of weight status severity in this low-income setting.
The human populations of the Iberian Peninsula are the varied result of a complex mixture of cultures throughout history, and are separated by clear social, cultural, linguistic or geographic barriers. The stronger genetic differences between closely related populations occur in the northern third of Spain, a phenomenon commonly known as “micro-differentiation”. It has been argued and discussed how this form of genetic structuring can be related to both the rugged landscape and the ancient societies of Northern Iberia, but this is difficult to test in most regions due to the intense human mobility of previous centuries. Nevertheless, the Spanish autonomous community of Asturias shows a complex history which hints of a certain isolation of its population. This, joined together with a difficult terrain full of deep valleys and steep mountains, makes it suitable for performing a study of genetic structure, based on mitochondrial DNA and Y-Chromosome markers. Our analyses do not only show that there are micro-differentiation patterns inside the Asturian territory, but that these patterns are strikingly similar between both uniparental markers. The inference of barriers to gene flow also indicates that Asturian populations from the coastal north and the mountainous south seem to be relatively isolated from the rest of the territory. These findings are discussed in light of historic and geographic data and, coupled with previous evidence, show that the origin of the current genetic patterning might indeed lie in Roman and Pre-Roman sociopolitical divisions.
In the majority of countries, surnames represent a ubiquitous cultural attribute inherited from an individual's ancestors and predominantly only altered through marriage. This paper utilises an innovative method, taken from economics, to offer unprecedented insights into the “surname space” of the Czech Republic. We construct this space as a network based on the pairwise probabilities of co-occurrence of surnames and find that the network representation has clear parallels with various ethno-cultural boundaries in the country. Our inductive approach therefore formalizes a simple assumption that the more frequently the bearers of two surnames concentrate in the same locations the higher the probability that these two surnames can be related (considering ethno-cultural relatedness, common co-ancestry or genetic relatedness, or some other type of relatedness). Using the Czech Republic as a case study this paper offers a fresh perspective on surnames as a quantitative data source and provides a methodology that can be easily incorporated within wider cultural, ethnic, geographic and population genetics studies already utilizing surnames.
European lactose tolerance genotype (LCT -13910 C>T, rs4988234) has been positively associated to body mass indexes (BMI) in a meta-analysis of 31,720 individuals of northern and central European descent. A strong association of lactase persistence (LP) with BMI and obesity has also been traced in a Spanish Mediterranean population. The aim of this study was to analyze a potential association of LP compared to lactase non-persistence (LNP) with BMI in inhabitants of the Canary Islands of Spain using Mendelian randomization.
A representative, randomly sampled population of adults belonging to the Canary Islands Nutrition Survey (ENCA) in Spain, aged 18–75 years (n = 551), was genotyped for the LCT – 13910 C>T polymorphism. Milk consumption was assessed by a validated questionnaire. Anthropometric variables were directly measured. WHO classification of BMI was used.
LP individuals were significantly more obese than LNP subjects (χ2 = 10.59; p<0.005). LP showed in a multivariate linear regression analysis showed a positive association of LP with BMI compared to LNP, (β = 0.96; 95% CI: 0.08–1.85, p = 0.033). In a multinomial logistic regression analysis normal range weight LP subjects showed an odds ratio for obesity of 2.41; 95%CI 1.39–418, (p = 0.002) compared to LNP.
The T-13910 of the allele LCT-13910 C>T polymorphism is positively associated with BMI. LP increases significantly the risk to develop obesity in the studied population. The LCT-13910 C>T polymorphism stands proxy for the lifetime exposure pattern, milk intake, that may increase susceptibility to obesity and to obesity related pathologies.
Characterization of population genetic variation and structure can be used as tools for research in human genetics and population isolates are of great interest. The aim of the present study was to characterize the genetic structure of Xavante Indians and compare it with other populations. The Xavante, an indigenous population living in Brazilian Central Plateau, is one of the largest native groups in Brazil. A subset of 53 unrelated subjects was selected from the initial sample of 300 Xavante Indians. Using 86,197 markers, Xavante were compared with all populations of HapMap Phase III and HGDP-CEPH projects and with a Southeast Brazilian population sample to establish its population structure. Principal Components Analysis showed that the Xavante Indians are concentrated in the Amerindian axis near other populations of known Amerindian ancestry such as Karitiana, Pima, Surui and Maya and a low degree of genetic admixture was observed. This is consistent with the historical records of bottlenecks experience and cultural isolation. By calculating pair-wise Fst statistics we characterized the genetic differentiation between Xavante Indians and representative populations of the HapMap and from HGDP-CEPH project. We found that the genetic differentiation between Xavante Indians and populations of Ameridian, Asian, European, and African ancestry increased progressively. Our results indicate that the Xavante is a population that remained genetically isolated over the past decades and can offer advantages for genome-wide mapping studies of inherited disorders.
Evolutionary accounts of human traits are often based on proxies for genetic fitness (e.g., number of sex partners, facial attractiveness). Instead of using proxies, actual differences in reproductive success is a more direct measure of Darwinian fitness. Certain voice acoustics such as fundamental frequency and measures of health such as handgrip strength correlate with proxies of fitness, yet there are few studies showing the relation of these traits to reproduction. Here, we explore whether the fundamental frequency of the voice and handgrip strength account for differences in actual reproduction among a population of natural fertility humans. Our results show that both fundamental frequency and handgrip strength predict several measures of reproductive success among a group of indigenous Namibian females, particularly amongst the elderly, with weight also predicting reproductive outcomes among males. These findings demonstrate that both hormonally regulated and phenotypic quality markers can be used as measures of Darwinian fitness among humans living under conditions that resemble the evolutionary environment of Homo sapiens. We also argue that these findings provide support for the Grandmother Hypothesis.
Data from morphology, linguistics, history, and archaeology have all been used to trace the dispersal of chickens from Asian domestication centers to their current global distribution. Each provides a unique perspective which can aid in the reconstruction of prehistory. This study expands on previous investigations by adding a temporal component from ancient DNA and, in some cases, direct dating of bones of individual chickens from a variety of sites in Europe, the Pacific, and the Americas. The results from the ancient DNA analyses of forty-eight archaeologically derived chicken bones provide support for archaeological hypotheses about the prehistoric human transport of chickens. Haplogroup E mtDNA signatures have been amplified from directly dated samples originating in Europe at 1000 B.P. and in the Pacific at 3000 B.P. indicating multiple prehistoric dispersals from a single Asian centre. These two dispersal pathways converged in the Americas where chickens were introduced both by Polynesians and later by Europeans. The results of this study also highlight the inappropriate application of the small stretch of D-loop, traditionally amplified for use in phylogenetic studies, to understanding discrete episodes of chicken translocation in the past. The results of this study lead to the proposal of four hypotheses which will require further scrutiny and rigorous future testing.
The “thrifty genotype” hypothesis proposes that the high prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) in Native Americans and admixed Latin Americans has a genetic basis and reflects an evolutionary adaptation to a past low calorie/high exercise lifestyle. However, identification of the gene variants underpinning this hypothesis remains elusive. Here we assessed the role of Native American ancestry, socioeconomic status (SES) and 21 candidate gene loci in susceptibility to T2D in a sample of 876 T2D cases and 399 controls from Antioquia (Colombia). Although mean Native American ancestry is significantly higher in T2D cases than in controls (32% v 29%), this difference is confounded by the correlation of ancestry with SES, which is a stronger predictor of disease status. Nominally significant association (P<0.05) was observed for markers in: TCF7L2, RBMS1, CDKAL1, ZNF239, KCNQ1 and TCF1 and a significant bias (P<0.05) towards OR>1 was observed for markers selected from previous T2D genome-wide association studies, consistent with a role for Old World variants in susceptibility to T2D in Latin Americans. No association was found to the only known Native American-specific gene variant previously associated with T2D in a Mexican sample (rs9282541 in ABCA1). An admixture mapping scan with 1,536 ancestry informative markers (AIMs) did not identify genome regions with significant deviation of ancestry in Antioquia. Exclusion analysis indicates that this scan rules out ∼95% of the genome as harboring loci with ancestry risk ratios >1.22 (at P < 0.05).
Family history and African-American race are important risk factors for both prostate cancer (CaP) incidence and aggressiveness. When studying complex diseases such as CaP that have a heritable component, chances of finding true disease susceptibility alleles can be increased by accounting for genetic ancestry within the population investigated. Race, ethnicity and ancestry were studied in a geographically diverse cohort of men with newly diagnosed CaP.
Individual ancestry (IA) was estimated in the population-based North Carolina and Louisiana Prostate Cancer Project (PCaP), a cohort of 2,106 incident CaP cases (2063 with complete ethnicity information) comprising roughly equal numbers of research subjects reporting as Black/African American (AA) or European American/Caucasian/Caucasian American/White (EA) from North Carolina or Louisiana. Mean genome wide individual ancestry estimates of percent African, European and Asian were obtained and tested for differences by state and ethnicity (Cajun and/or Creole and Hispanic/Latino) using multivariate analysis of variance models. Principal components (PC) were compared to assess differences in genetic composition by self-reported race and ethnicity between and within states.
Mean individual ancestries differed by state for self-reporting AA (p = 0.03) and EA (p = 0.001). This geographic difference attenuated for AAs who answered “no” to all ethnicity membership questions (non-ethnic research subjects; p = 0.78) but not EA research subjects, p = 0.002. Mean ancestry estimates of self-identified AA Louisiana research subjects for each ethnic group; Cajun only, Creole only and both Cajun and Creole differed significantly from self-identified non-ethnic AA Louisiana research subjects. These ethnicity differences were not seen in those who self-identified as EA.
Mean IA differed by race between states, elucidating a potential contributing factor to these differences in AA research participants: self-reported ethnicity. Accurately accounting for genetic admixture in this cohort is essential for future analyses of the genetic and environmental contributions to CaP.
Genetic association studies are now routinely used to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) linked with human diseases or traits through single SNP-single trait tests. Here we introduced partial least squares path modeling (PLSPM) for association between single or multiple SNPs and a latent trait that can involve single or multiple correlated measurement(s). Furthermore, the framework naturally provides estimators of polygenic effect by appropriately weighting trait-attributing alleles. We conducted computer simulations to assess the performance via multiple SNPs and human obesity-related traits as measured by body mass index (BMI), waist and hip circumferences. Our results showed that the associate statistics had type I error rates close to nominal level and were powerful for a range of effect and sample sizes. When applied to 12 candidate regions in data (N = 2,417) from the European Prospective Investigation of Cancer (EPIC)-Norfolk study, a region in FTO was found to have stronger association (rs7204609∼rs9939881 at the first intron P = 4.29×10−7) than single SNP analysis (all with P>10−4) and a latent quantitative phenotype was obtained using a subset sample of EPIC-Norfolk (N = 12,559). We believe our method is appropriate for assessment of regional association and polygenic effect on a single or multiple traits.
Hypertension is caused by the interaction of environmental and genetic factors. The condition which is very common, with about 18% of the adult Hong Kong Chinese population and over 50% of older individuals affected, is responsible for considerable morbidity and mortality. To identify genes influencing hypertension and blood pressure, we conducted a combined linkage and association study using over 500,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) genotyped in 328 individuals comprising 111 hypertensive probands and their siblings. Using a family-based association test, we found an association with SNPs on chromosome 5q31.1 (rs6596140; P<9×10−8) for hypertension. One candidate gene, PDC, was replicated, with rs3817586 on 1q31.1 attaining P = 2.5×10−4 and 2.9×10−5 in the within-family tests for DBP and MAP, respectively. We also identified regions of significant linkage for systolic and diastolic blood pressure on chromosomes 2q22 and 5p13, respectively. Further family-based association analysis of the linkage peak on chromosome 5 yielded a significant association (rs1605685, P<7×10−5) for DBP. This is the first combined linkage and association study of hypertension and its related quantitative traits with Chinese ancestry. The associations reported here account for the action of common variants whereas the discovery of linkage regions may point to novel targets for rare variant screening.
Studies examining human and nonhuman primates have supported the hypothesis that the recent increase in the occurrence of misalignment of teeth and/or incorrect relation of dental arches, named dental malocclusion, is mainly attributed to the availability of a more processed diet and the reduced need for powerful masticatory action. For the first time on live human populations, genetic and tooth wear influences on occlusal variation were examined in a split indigenous population. The Arara-Iriri people are descendants of a single couple expelled from a larger village. In the resultant village, expansion occurred through the mating of close relatives, resulting in marked genetic cohesion with substantial genetic differences.
Dental malocclusion, tooth wear and inbreeding coefficient were evaluated. The sample examined was composed of 176 individuals from both villages. Prevalence Ratio and descriptive differences in the outcomes frequency for each developmental stage of the dentition were considered. Statistical differences between the villages were examined using the chi-square test or Fisher's exact statistic. Tooth wear and the inbreeding coefficient (F) between the villages was tested with Mann-Whitney statistics. All the statistics were performed using two-tailed distribution at p≤0.05. The coefficient inbreeding (F) confirmed the frequent incestuous unions among the Arara-Iriri indigenous group. Despite the tooth wear similarities, we found a striking difference in occlusal patterns between the two Arara villages. In the original village, dental malocclusion was present in about one third of the population; whilst in the resultant village, the occurrence was almost doubled. Furthermore, the morphological characteristics of malocclusion were strongly different between the groups.
Our findings downplay the widespread influence of tooth wear, a direct evidence of what an individual ate in the past, on occlusal variation of living human populations. They also suggest that genetics plays the most important role on dental malocclusion etiology.
Human mothers wean their children from breast milk at an earlier developmental stage than do ape mothers, resulting in human children chewing solid and semi-solid foods using the deciduous dentition. Mechanical forces generated by chewing solid foods during the post-weaning period travel through not only the deciduous teeth, but also the enamel caps of the developing permanent teeth within the maxilla and mandible, which are not present in the adult face. The effects of mechanical stress propagating through these very stiff structures have yet to be examined. Based on a heuristic model, we predicted that the enamel of the embedded developing teeth would act to reduce stresses in the surrounding bony elements of the juvenile face. We tested this hypothesis by simulating occlusal loading in a finite element (FE) model of a child's cranium with a complete set of deciduous teeth and the first permanent molars embedded in the bony crypt in the maxilla. We modeled bone and enamel with appropriate material properties and assessed the effect of embedding high-stiffness enamel structures on stress distribution in the juvenile face. Against expectation, the presence of unerupted enamel caps does not affect the magnitude or location of stresses in the juvenile face. Our results do not support the hypothesis that the unerupted secondary teeth act to moderate stresses in the juvenile face.
About 20% of women with ovarian cancer have low concentrations of serum cancer antigen 125 (CA125), and this important tumor marker cannot be used to monitor their disease. The measured concentration for mucin 1 (MUC1), or CA15–3, another tumor marker, can be lowered in breast and ovarian cancer patients when circulating immune complexes (CICs) containing antibodies bound to the free antigen are present. Because CA125 and MUC1 are related members of the mucin family, we sought to determine whether CICs might also exist for CA125 and interfere with its clinical assay.
We developed an antigen capture–based assay to determine the presence of CICs for CA125. We spotted mouse antibodies to CA125 onto nanoparticle slides, incubated them with patient serum, and added Cy5-tagged goat antihuman IgG antibodies. Fluorescence intensities were read and normalized to the intensities for glutathione S-transferase A1 as a control.
Assay results for 23 ovarian cancer cases with high CA125 concentrations, 43 cases with low CA125 concentrations, and 19 controls (mean CA125 concentrations, 2706, 23, and 11 kilounits/L, respectively) revealed mean fluorescence intensities for CA125 CIC of 2.30, 2.72, and 1.99 intensity units (iu), respectively. A generalized linear model adjusted for batch and age showed higher CA125 CIC fluorescence intensities in low-CA125 cases than in high-CA125 cases (P = 0.03) and controls (P = 0.0005). Four ovarian cancer patients who had recurrent disease and always had low CA125 values had a mean CA125 CIC value of 3.06 iu (95% CI, 2.34–4.01 iu).
These preliminary results suggest the existence of CICs involving CA125, which may help explain some ovarian cancer cases with low CA125 concentrations.
Personal naming practices exist in all human groups and are far from random. Rather, they continue to reflect social norms and ethno-cultural customs that have developed over generations. As a consequence, contemporary name frequency distributions retain distinct geographic, social and ethno-cultural patterning that can be exploited to understand population structure in human biology, public health and social science. Previous attempts to detect and delineate such structure in large populations have entailed extensive empirical analysis of naming conventions in different parts of the world without seeking any general or automated methods of population classification by ethno-cultural origin. Here we show how ‘naming networks’, constructed from forename-surname pairs of a large sample of the contemporary human population in 17 countries, provide a valuable representation of cultural, ethnic and linguistic population structure around the world. This innovative approach enriches and adds value to automated population classification through conventional national data sources such as telephone directories and electoral registers. The method identifies clear social and ethno-cultural clusters in such naming networks that extend far beyond the geographic areas in which particular names originated, and that are preserved even after international migration. Moreover, one of the most striking findings of this approach is that these clusters simply ‘emerge’ from the aggregation of millions of individual decisions on parental naming practices for their children, without any prior knowledge introduced by the researcher. Our probabilistic approach to community assignment, both at city level as well as at a global scale, helps to reveal the degree of isolation, integration or overlap between human populations in our rapidly globalising world. As such, this work has important implications for research in population genetics, public health, and social science adding new understandings of migration, identity, integration and social interaction across the world.
Molecular anthropological studies of the populations in and around East Asia have resulted in the discovery that most of the Y-chromosome lineages of East Asians came from Southeast Asia. However, very few Southeast Asian populations had been investigated, and therefore, little was known about the purported migrations from Southeast Asia into East Asia and their roles in shaping the genetic structure of East Asian populations. Here, we present the Y-chromosome data from 1,652 individuals belonging to 47 Mon-Khmer (MK) and Hmong-Mien (HM) speaking populations that are distributed primarily across Southeast Asia and extend into East Asia. Haplogroup O3a3b-M7, which appears mainly in MK and HM, indicates a strong tie between the two groups. The short tandem repeat network of O3a3b-M7 displayed a hierarchical expansion structure (annual ring shape), with MK haplotypes being located at the original point, and the HM and the Tibeto-Burman haplotypes distributed further away from core of the network. Moreover, the East Asian dominant haplogroup O3a3c1-M117 shows a network structure similar to that of O3a3b-M7. These patterns indicate an early unidirectional diffusion from Southeast Asia into East Asia, which might have resulted from the genetic drift of East Asian ancestors carrying these two haplogroups through many small bottle-necks formed by the complicated landscape between Southeast Asia and East Asia. The ages of O3a3b-M7 and O3a3c1-M117 were estimated to be approximately 19 thousand years, followed by the emergence of the ancestors of HM lineages out of MK and the unidirectional northward migrations into East Asia.
Late Pleistocene North America hosted at least two divergent and ecologically distinct species of mammoth: the periglacial woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) and the subglacial Columbian mammoth (Mammuthus columbi). To date, mammoth genetic research has been entirely restricted to woolly mammoths, rendering their genetic evolution difficult to contextualize within broader Pleistocene paleoecology and biogeography. Here, we take an interspecific approach to clarifying mammoth phylogeny by targeting Columbian mammoth remains for mitogenomic sequencing.
We sequenced the first complete mitochondrial genome of a classic Columbian mammoth, as well as the first complete mitochondrial genome of a North American woolly mammoth. Somewhat contrary to conventional paleontological models, which posit that the two species were highly divergent, the M. columbi mitogenome we obtained falls securely within a subclade of endemic North American M. primigenius.
Though limited, our data suggest that the two species interbred at some point in their evolutionary histories. One potential explanation is that woolly mammoth haplotypes entered Columbian mammoth populations via introgression at subglacial ecotones, a scenario with compelling parallels in extant elephants and consistent with certain regional paleontological observations. This highlights the need for multi-genomic data to sufficiently characterize mammoth evolutionary history. Our results demonstrate that the use of next-generation sequencing technologies holds promise in obtaining such data, even from non-cave, non-permafrost Pleistocene depositional contexts.
Despite the limited genetic heterogeneity of Spanish populations, substantial evidences support that historical African influences have not affected them uniformly. Accounting for such population differences might be essential to reduce spurious results in association studies of genetic factors with disease. Using ancestry informative markers (AIMs), we aimed to measure the African influences in Spanish populations and to explore whether these might introduce statistical bias in population-based association studies.
We genotyped 93 AIMs in Spanish (from the Canary Islands and the Iberian Peninsula) and Northwest Africans, and conducted population and individual-based clustering analyses along with reference data from the HapMap, HGDP-CEPH, and other sources. We found significant differences for the Northwest African influence among Spanish populations from as low as ≈5% in Spanish from the Iberian Peninsula to as much as ≈17% in Canary Islanders, whereas the sub-Saharan African influence was negligible. Strikingly, the Northwest African ancestry showed a wide inter-individual variation in Canary Islanders ranging from 0% to 96%, reflecting the violent way the Islands were conquered and colonized by the Spanish in the XV century. As a consequence, a comparison of allele frequencies between Spanish samples from the Iberian Peninsula and the Canary Islands evidenced an excess of markers with significant differences. However, the inflation of p-values for the differences was adequately controlled by correcting for genetic ancestry estimates derived from a reduced number of AIMs.
Although the African influences estimated might be biased due to marker ascertainment, these results confirm that Northwest African genetic footprints are recognizable nowadays in the Spanish populations, particularly in Canary Islanders, and that the uneven African influences existing in these populations might increase the risk for false positives in association studies. Adjusting for population stratification assessed with a few dozen AIMs would be sufficient to control this effect.
A total of 172 persons from nine South Amerindian, three African and one Eskimo populations were studied in relation to the Paired box gene 9 (PAX9) exon 3 (138 base pairs) as well as its 5′and 3′flanking intronic segments (232 bp and 220 bp, respectively) and integrated with the information available for the same genetic region from individuals of different geographical origins. Nine mutations were scored in exon 3 and six in its flanking regions; four of them are new South American tribe-specific singletons. Exon3 nucleotide diversity is several orders of magnitude higher than its intronic regions. Additionally, a set of variants in the PAX9 and 101 other genes related with dentition can define at least some dental morphological differences between Sub-Saharan Africans and non-Africans, probably associated with adaptations after the modern human exodus from Africa. Exon 3 of PAX9 could be a good molecular example of how evolvability works.
Genetic ancestry is known to impact outcomes of genotype-phenotype studies that are designed to identify risk for common diseases in human populations. Failure to control for population stratification due to genetic ancestry can significantly confound results of disease association studies. Moreover, ancestry is a critical factor in assessing lifetime risk of disease, and can play an important role in optimizing treatment. As modern medicine moves towards using personal genetic information for clinical applications, it is important to determine genetic ancestry in an accurate, cost-effective and efficient manner. Self-identified race is a common method used to track and control for population stratification; however, social constructs of race are not necessarily informative for genetic applications. The use of ancestry informative markers (AIMs) is a more accurate method for determining genetic ancestry for the purposes of population stratification.
Here we introduce a novel panel of 36 microsatellite (MSAT) AIMs that determines continental admixture proportions. This panel, which we have named Continental Ancestry Informative Markers or CoAIMs, consists of MSAT AIMs that were chosen based upon their measure of genetic variance (Fst), allele frequencies and their suitability for efficient genotyping. Genotype analysis using CoAIMs along with a Bayesian clustering method (STRUCTURE) is able to discern continental origins including Europe/Middle East (Caucasians), East Asia, Africa, Native America, and Oceania. In addition to determining continental ancestry for individuals without significant admixture, we applied CoAIMs to ascertain admixture proportions of individuals of self declared race.
CoAIMs can be used to efficiently and effectively determine continental admixture proportions in a sample set. The CoAIMs panel is a valuable resource for genetic researchers performing case-control genetic association studies, as it can control for the confounding effects of population stratification. The MSAT-based approach used here has potential for broad applicability as a cost effective tool toward determining admixture proportions.
The population of Costa Rica (CR) represents an admixture of major continental populations. An investigation of the CR population structure would provide an important foundation for mapping genetic variants underlying common diseases and traits. We conducted an analysis of 1,301 women from the Guanacaste region of CR using 27,904 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) genotyped on a custom Illumina InfiniumII iSelect chip. The program STRUCTURE was used to compare the CR Guanacaste sample with four continental reference samples, including HapMap Europeans (CEU), East Asians (JPT+CHB), West African Yoruba (YRI), as well as Native Americans (NA) from the Illumina iControl database. Our results show that the CR Guanacaste sample comprises a three-way admixture estimated to be 43% European, 38% Native American and 15% West African. An estimated 4% residual Asian ancestry may be within the error range. Results from principal components analysis reveal a correlation between genetic and geographic distance. The magnitude of linkage disequilibrium (LD) measured by the number of tagging SNPs required to cover the same region in the genome in the CR Guanacaste sample appeared to be weaker than that observed in CEU, JPT+CHB and NA reference samples but stronger than that of the HapMap YRI sample. Based on the clustering pattern observed in both STRUCTURE and principal components analysis, two subpopulations were identified that differ by approximately 20% in LD block size averaged over all LD blocks identified by Haploview. We also show in a simulated association study conducted within the two subpopulations, that the failure to account for population stratification (PS) could lead to a noticeable inflation in the false positive rate. However, we further demonstrate that existing PS adjustment approaches can reduce the inflation to an acceptable level for gene discovery.
Background and Methodology
The 719Arg allele of KIF6 (rs20455) was associated with coronary events in Caucasian participants of five prospective studies. We investigated whether this KIF6 variant was associated with non-fatal myocardial infarction (MI) in a case-control study of an admixed population from the Central Valley of Costa Rica. Genotypes of the KIF6 variant were determined for 4,134 men and women. Cases (1,987) had survived a first MI; controls (2,147) had no history of MI and were matched to cases by age, sex, and area of residence. We tested the association between the KIF6 719Arg allele and non-fatal MI by conditional logistic regression and adjusted for admixture of founder populations.
Compared with the reference Trp/Trp homozygotes, KIF6 719Arg carriers were not at significantly higher risk for non-fatal MI in this study after adjustment for traditional risk factors or admixture (OR = 1.12; 95%CI, 0.98–1.28). Heterozygotes of the KIF6 Trp719Arg variant were at increased risk of non-fatal MI: the adjusted odds ratio was 1.16 (95% confidence interval, 1.01–1.34), but this association would not be significant after a multiple testing correction.
We found that carriers of the KIF6 719Arg allele were not at increased risk of non-fatal MI in a case-control study of Costa Ricans living in the Central Valley of Costa Rica.
Understanding the dynamics of the human range expansion across northeastern Eurasia during the late Pleistocene is central to establishing empirical temporal constraints on the colonization of the Americas . Opinions vary widely on how and when the Americas were colonized, with advocates supporting either a pre- or post-, , , ,  last glacial maximum (LGM) colonization, via either a land bridge across Beringia , , , a sea-faring Pacific Rim coastal route , , a trans-Arctic route , or a trans-Atlantic oceanic route . Here we analyze a large sample of radiocarbon dates from the northeast Eurasian Upper Paleolithic to identify the origin of this expansion, and estimate the velocity of colonization wave as it moved across northern Eurasia and into the Americas.
We use diffusion models ,  to quantify these dynamics. Our results show the expansion originated in the Altai region of southern Siberia ∼46kBP , and from there expanded across northern Eurasia at an average velocity of 0.16 km per year. However, the movement of the colonizing wave was not continuous but underwent three distinct phases: 1) an initial expansion from 47-32k calBP; 2) a hiatus from ∼32-16k calBP, and 3) a second expansion after the LGM ∼16k calBP. These results provide archaeological support for the recently proposed three-stage model of the colonization of the Americas , . Our results falsify the hypothesis of a pre-LGM terrestrial colonization of the Americas and we discuss the importance of these empirical results in the light of alternative models.
Our results demonstrate that the radiocarbon record of Upper Paleolithic northeastern Eurasia supports a post-LGM terrestrial colonization of the Americas falsifying the proposed pre-LGM terrestrial colonization of the Americas. We show that this expansion was not a simple process, but proceeded in three phases, consistent with genetic data, largely in response to the variable climatic conditions of late Pleistocene northeast Eurasia. Further, the constraints imposed by the spatiotemporal gradient in the empirical radiocarbon record across this entire region suggests that North America cannot have been colonized much before the existing Clovis radiocarbon record suggests.
Discussion surrounding the settlement of the New World has recently gained momentum with advances in molecular biology, archaeology and bioanthropology. Recent evidence from these diverse fields is found to support different colonization scenarios. The currently available genetic evidence suggests a “single migration” model, in which both early and later Native American groups derive from one expansion event into the continent. In contrast, the pronounced anatomical differences between early and late Native American populations have led others to propose more complex scenarios, involving separate colonization events of the New World and a distinct origin for these groups.
Using large samples of Early American crania, we: 1) calculated the rate of morphological differentiation between Early and Late American samples under three different time divergence assumptions, and compared our findings to the predicted morphological differentiation under neutral conditions in each case; and 2) further tested three dispersal scenarios for the colonization of the New World by comparing the morphological distances among early and late Amerindians, East Asians, Australo-Melanesians and early modern humans from Asia to geographical distances associated with each dispersion model. Results indicate that the assumption of a last shared common ancestor outside the continent better explains the observed morphological differences between early and late American groups. This result is corroborated by our finding that a model comprising two Asian waves of migration coming through Bering into the Americas fits the cranial anatomical evidence best, especially when the effects of diversifying selection to climate are taken into account.
We conclude that the morphological diversity documented through time in the New World is best accounted for by a model postulating two waves of human expansion into the continent originating in East Asia and entering through Beringia.
Languages differ greatly both in their syntactic and morphological systems and in the social environments in which they exist. We challenge the view that language grammars are unrelated to social environments in which they are learned and used.
We conducted a statistical analysis of >2,000 languages using a combination of demographic sources and the World Atlas of Language Structures— a database of structural language properties. We found strong relationships between linguistic factors related to morphological complexity, and demographic/socio-historical factors such as the number of language users, geographic spread, and degree of language contact. The analyses suggest that languages spoken by large groups have simpler inflectional morphology than languages spoken by smaller groups as measured on a variety of factors such as case systems and complexity of conjugations. Additionally, languages spoken by large groups are much more likely to use lexical strategies in place of inflectional morphology to encode evidentiality, negation, aspect, and possession. Our findings indicate that just as biological organisms are shaped by ecological niches, language structures appear to adapt to the environment (niche) in which they are being learned and used. As adults learn a language, features that are difficult for them to acquire, are less likely to be passed on to subsequent learners. Languages used for communication in large groups that include adult learners appear to have been subjected to such selection. Conversely, the morphological complexity common to languages used in small groups increases redundancy which may facilitate language learning by infants.
We hypothesize that language structures are subjected to different evolutionary pressures in different social environments. Just as biological organisms are shaped by ecological niches, language structures appear to adapt to the environment (niche) in which they are being learned and used. The proposed Linguistic Niche Hypothesis has implications for answering the broad question of why languages differ in the way they do and makes empirical predictions regarding language acquisition capacities of children versus adults.