Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

Research sheds new light on Pacific history

New research data are helping to answer some important questions on how the ancestors of modern day Polynesians came to settle Oceania and have provided some exciting new insights into the process of recent human evolution in the Pacific.

Study member Dr Geoff Chambers of Victoria University's Institute for Molecular Systematics says the genetic study showed clear differences between the ways men and women have contributed to the Polynesian gene pool.

The new report is based on analysis of male specific Y chromosome markers and describes a pattern of complex relationships between Pacific Island populations. This is in contrast with previous archaeological, linguistic and molecular studies, which uphold a rapid expansion of Austronesian peoples into the Pacific.

Dr Chambers was asked to join an international research team headed by scientists from Stanford University in 1998 and following approval from the Wellington Ethics Committee the researchers began testing DNA samples from 148 contributors in 1999. The survey involved testing the volunteers who were either of Maori or Polynesian descent for genes that are passed down from father to son.

"The new data show that males from locations in Southeast Asia, Melanesia and New Guinea have contributed to the Polynesian gene pool. This is in marked contrast with female (mitrochondrial DNA) markers which are more or less exclusively of the Southeast Asian type", Dr Chambers says.

For Dr Chambers the new data help to resolve some long-standing questions about how Polynesian settlement occurred. "The whole story makes better sense now that we have evidence that genetic exchange occurred between the voyagers and resident populations that they encountered along the way".

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Industry Report: Growing Interactive Sector Wants Screen Grants

Introducing a coordinated plan that invests in emerging talent and allows interactive media to access existing screen industry programmes would create hundreds of hi-tech and creative industry jobs. More>>

ALSO:

Ground Rules: Government Moves To Protect Best Growing Land

“Continuing to grow food in the volumes and quality we have come to expect depends on the availability of land and the quality of the soil. Once productive land is built on, we can’t use it for food production, which is why we need to act now.” More>>

ALSO:

Royal Society: Calls For Overhaul Of Gene-Technology Regulations

An expert panel considering the implications of new technologies that allow much more controlled and precise ‘editing’ of genes, has concluded it’s time for an overhaul of the regulations and that there’s an urgent need for wide discussion and debate about gene editing... More>>

ALSO:

Retail: Card Spending Dips In July

Seasonally-adjusted electronic card spending dipped in July by 0.1 percent after being flat in June, according to Stats NZ. Economists had expected a 0.5 percent lift, according to the median in a Bloomberg poll. More>>

ALSO:

Product Stewardship: Govt Takes More Action To Reduce Waste

The Government is proposing a new way to deal with environmentally harmful products before they become waste, including plastic packing and bottles, as part of a wider plan to reduce the amount of rubbish ending up in landfills. More>>

ALSO:

Earnings Update: Fonterra Sees Up To $675m Loss On Writedowns

“While the Co-op’s FY19 underlying earnings range is within the current guidance of 10-15 cents per share, when you take into consideration these likely write-downs, we expect to make a reported loss of $590-675 million this year, which is a 37 to 42 cent loss per share." More>>

ALSO: