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Alaskan infant's DNA tells story of 'first Americans'

Alaskan infant's DNA tells story of 'first Americans'

Science
The 11,500-year-old remains of an infant girl from Alaska have shed new light on the peopling of the Americas. Genetic analysis of the child, allied to other data, indicates she belonged to a previously unknown, ancient group. Scientists say what they have learnt from her DNA strongly supports the idea that a single wave of migrants moved into the continent from Siberia just over 20,000 years ago. Lower sea-levels back then would have created dry land in the Bering Strait. It would have submerged again only as northern ice sheets melted and retreated. The pioneering settlers became the ancestors of all today's Native Americans, say Prof Eske Willerslev and colleagues. His team has published its genetics assessment in the journal Nature. The skeleton of the six-week-old infant was unearthed...