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DNA Link Found Between Frozen Aboriginal Man and 17 Living People

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the no-missing-links-here dept.

Science 128

The Globe and Mail is reporting that scientists claim to have found a DNA link between the frozen remains of an aboriginal man and 17 living people. "While the work on the human DNA project has opened new doors and work will continue on establishing a fuller family tree, Long Ago Person Found's descendants said they finally have the opportunity to give their ancestor a proper burial. Because his lineage had never been established, no memorial potlatch could be held. Of the 17 people linked through DNA, 15 self-identify with the Wolf Clan, meaning the young man was most likely Wolf as well."

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wolf clan ? (2, Funny)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230826)

and here I was thinking lupus was a species, not a clan...

Re:wolf clan ? (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230880)

So... you could say that these families are modern day "where wolfs"...

"...meaning the young man was most likely Wolf as well."

Geezus... and they are hyping up the DNA as the amazing thing here? come on!... /joking

Re:wolf clan ? (5, Funny)

kyriosdelis (1100427) | more than 6 years ago | (#23231384)

So... you could say that these families are modern day "where wolfs"...
"There wolf" --->
"There castle" --->

(roll, roll, roll in ze hay)

Re:wolf clan ? (2, Funny)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 6 years ago | (#23233306)

What terrible spelling and word use. I assume that since it's after 5PM, you have already slipped your brains through slot in door.

Regards,

Anthony Bernard Normal

Re:wolf clan ? (1)

Samah (729132) | more than 6 years ago | (#23234476)

> Anthony Bernard Normal
Took me a bit to get that...
Very clever ;)
PS. PUT THE CANDLE BACK

Re:wolf clan ? (1)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235060)

So did this Person Found Wolf Clan guy have an Enormous... personality or something?
 

Re:wolf clan ? (1)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235300)

Let's just say he was best friends with the goatse guy. 'Nuf said?

Re:wolf clan ? (3, Funny)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 6 years ago | (#23231076)

Haven't you ever played Mechwarrior [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:wolf clan ? (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#23231118)

Yeah, just like Cave Bear is a clan.

Re:wolf clan ? (1)

dracocat (554744) | more than 6 years ago | (#23231214)

The Cave Bears clan was decimated by the Every Bear clan.

Re:wolf clan ? (1)

Architect_sasyr (938685) | more than 6 years ago | (#23232942)

The Owl Bear clan will beat them all!

Oblig: (3, Funny)

The_mad_linguist (1019680) | more than 6 years ago | (#23232704)

It's never lupus.

Re:wolf clan ? (5, Informative)

maquah (965242) | more than 6 years ago | (#23233310)

For a great many Aboriginal peoples, Clans or, in my language, Dodems [the source of the English word "Totemic"], are a very important part of family relationships and identity. I am Bear Dodem - that's what my screen name here at SlashDot means, "Bear." I can understand how people who don't know very much about Indigenous traditions - and the beauty which we have with the enduring wisdom of our ancient legacy - might think that our sacred relationships with wolves and bears and eagles... and lots of other animals... are HaHaHa funny. To us, they are sacred. If you'd like to read more, several years ago my (now-deceased) husband, Wub-e-ke-niew, wrote an article explaining some of our culture and its value for us. It's online at http://www.maquah.net/AhnishinahbaeotjibwayReflections/1996/1996-02-11_Ahnishinahaeotjibway_Dodems.html [maquah.net]

Re:wolf clan ? (-1, Troll)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 6 years ago | (#23233564)

That's a much better name than "two dogs fucking" that's for sure.

Sorry, you've probably heard that joke a hundred times.

Re:wolf clan ? (1)

maquah (965242) | more than 6 years ago | (#23233732)

If you were really "sorry" you would have canceled your comment, rather than posting it. But: I'm curious as to how someone like you thinks. What is it that you think is funny - or whatever it is that motivated you - in making obscene comments about other people's names?

Re:wolf clan ? (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 6 years ago | (#23234180)

You're right. I'm not sorry. The apology is just a pretty standard phrasing that follows a well established comment pattern. The comment itself is not actually making fun of anybody's name, as I am not aware of anybody actually named "two dogs fucking." The names in the joke don't resemble your name at all.

Are you aware of the joke that I am referring to? If you're not, you could be confused. If you are indeed aware of the joke, then that reveals something about you which is also interesting to me: you take yourself very seriously.

I have a question for you. What did you think about the name joke in the movie "Hot Shots?" That one is a little more tame.

As for me, I enjoy obscenity in all forms. Especially politics. But what's funny about the post in question is the name joke itself. It's a very old and very funny ethnic joke. Another one of the genre that I like is the genuine Italian food joke (it's genuine because the it was cooked by a chef wearing an undershirt. har har) These jokes aren't typically malicious, and this one is no exception. For example, I never use the term aboriginal, or native American, or Indian. I only refer to people who have a tribal identification by their tribe identifier. Confusing? A guy who tells impolite jokes who also takes pains to use the name of the tribe when describing someone? Boggles the mind.

If you have any other questions, ask and I shall answer.

He was in a wolf clan? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23235402)

... maybe it was a teamkill?

Re:wolf clan ? (1)

NerveGas (168686) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235424)

I just thought of Mechwarrior.

He's my great^^27 grandpa! (2)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230832)

He could be. And he probably would be if they checked my DNA. But who knows? TFA is really short on information.
There is no mention of the methodology of the study, particularly on how the samples were chosen, or if there was a control group.

Did they decide how close was close enough and then go looking for DNA? Or did they look first and then say "That seems close enough."? To me, the only intellectually honest way to do it would be the former. There has to be a possibility of the answer being "Nobody that we found was close enough".

I don't wish to criticize these researchers based on the absence of information, but it is remarkably convenient for them that they came up with the politically correct and properly ethnically sensitive result. It makes a cynic like me suspicious.

Re:He's my great^^27 grandpa! (2, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230926)

The Globe and Mail isn't exactly Science. It's not even Scientific American.

The article focus almost exclusively on the reactions of people to the news. It mentions a "symposium" but not the name of it or who was holding it.

Presumably, there will be a journal article out of it, and if that article passes peer review, you'll hear from it again. Meantime, dismiss anything scientific you read in the daily papers. They're just astonishingly bad at reporting science.

A bit of googling on the name of the one scientist mentioned in the article suggests that this [kdtsymposium.bc.ca] is the lecture they're talking about.

Re:He's my great^^27 grandpa! (4, Informative)

swid27 (869237) | more than 6 years ago | (#23231168)

Here's an article abstract. [mrc.ac.uk]

For the lazy, they tested his mitochondrial DNA (he turned out to be a member of mtDNA haplogroup A [wikipedia.org] ), and compared that to a number of living people. None of the 17 matches are his direct descendants, but have a common matrilineal ancestry.

Re:He's my great^^27 grandpa! (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 6 years ago | (#23231234)

> There is no mention of the methodology of the
> study, particularly on how the samples were
> chosen, or if there was a control group.

Control group for DNA analysis?

Re:He's my great^^27 grandpa! (1)

ichthyoboy (1167379) | more than 6 years ago | (#23233566)

Well...in this case how about a wolf [nih.gov] ? Ok...dingo, actually.

Re:He's my great^^27 grandpa! (1)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235218)

Control group for DNA analysis?
Yes. There is a group of people who want him to be linked to their tribe. Call that the test group. Then get another, randomly chosen group, not from that tribe. Call that the control group.
This can be used to establish what 'close enough' means.

Re:He's my great^^27 grandpa! (4, Insightful)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 6 years ago | (#23231260)

Well, given that the body's only 150-300 years old, and was found in a remote, sparsely-populated, and geographically isolated area, it's not really all that surprising that some sort of chain of ancestry was able to be established linking him to the present-day natives of that area.

In fact, I'd be more surprised if a link wasn't found.

Re:He's my great^^27 grandpa! (1)

seyyah (986027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23234780)

And indeed you are right. If I recall correctly (I heard about it on the radio a few days ago), many of the people tested were not related.

Re:He's my great^^27 grandpa! (3, Informative)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23231458)

The place to start might be a Most Recent Common Ancestor [arizona.edu] calculation. You then figure how recent the most recent common ancestor has to be before you consider the people related. Finally, you analyse established Y-DNA or mtDNA markers and look for both the number of markers different and the genetic distance. Scroll down the page for the info [arizona.edu] . From this, you can get the probability that those two individuals share a common ancestor within the designated timeframe.

A second, and probably more typical approach for archaeological DNA work, is to not bother with such details and just go for a handful of markers, just sufficient to identify the basic group of individuals the person belonged to. Ken Nordvedt has produced a nice set of diagrams [bresnan.net] showing [bresnan.net] how different branches of the I haplogroup are related, with emphasis on the so-called "ultraNorse" group, which appear to have had two founding families.

If you can identify a specific set of genetic markers that is common to a set of verifiably related individuals that do not occur in verifiably unrelated individuals, then those markers can be used to identify a loosely-defined group. Loosely, because you're only using a few markers and therefore know only limited information about the general deep ancestory, you know very little about the specifics and certainly don't have enough information to get a timeframe. But it's enough to establish a relationship of sorts.

(A great many English people belong to genetic groups associated with the Anglo-Saxons, for example, but would not necessarily regard themselves as meaningfully related, even though if you go far enough back, they probably are.)

The Genography project uses 12 Y-DNA markers and Hyper Variable Region 1 from the Mitochondrial DNA. This will tell you something about relationships in the order of a thousand to ten thousand years past. I would not regard this as a good test for this aboriginal man who was only a few hundred years old. 67 markers would be considered adequate for genealogy on the same timeframe because almost all will be exactly the same. The differences over such small timeframes will be only just measurable on a 67-marker comparison.

The Famous DNA [isogg.org] listings are probably not much better, mostly because they're often reconstructions. Pick N people believed to be descended from X, then find the markers all have in common. Those markers are then assumed to have also been present in X and so if you are a descendent of X. Well, all it actually tells you is if you belong to the same genetic grouping, but that group may be a thousand years prior to X, the common ancestor may have been X's brother/sister (depending on the DNA tested), etc. It can tell you if there's a rough match, but that's it.

Re:He's my great^^27 grandpa! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23233900)

How would you use a control group in this instance? I mean, how can you guarantee ahead of time that a sample of DNA you take to be a "control" is not "related" in the sense of matrilineage? (clearly not a scientist, but you get it)

Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23230854)

He might have only died 160 years ago. I'd be more impressed if he'd been dead for thousands of years.

Re:Meh (2, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | more than 6 years ago | (#23231348)

> He might have only died 160 years ago. I'd be
> more impressed if he'd been dead for thousands of
> years.

Exactly so.

This hardly qualifies as Archeology at all.

Further, in spite of the hand wringing in TFA, is does nothing but discredit native verbal traditions as a source of scientific information.

First, no verbal traditions provided the slightest clue as to his id or even his clan/tribe. The fact that he was extracted from a glacier, reasonably intact, and NOBODY could pin down his tribe/clan from his clothing, and personal effects says the traditions are little more than stories.

Second, a certain racism rears its ugly head with regard to the new found relatives statement that he could ONLY NOW be given "the respect and dignity he deserves." Really? Heaven forbid the native people accorded a white man the dignity of a proper native ceremony.

well, we tried damn hard... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23231858)

to erase their culture, so cut 'em a fuckin' break, k?

otoh, the idea that "We needed to know who he is so we can treat him properly," illustrates the downside of tribalism: if u r not a member of the tribe, u r not human...

Re:well, we tried damn hard... (2)

icebike (68054) | more than 6 years ago | (#23232018)

Who is this WE you speak of?

Inuit/Inupiat and Eskimo people have never had their culture attacked, discredited or suppressed. They have never been defeated in battle, and never have been made war upon.

Not in Alaska and not in Canada. If anything, native cultures of the far north are celebrated far in excess of their actual accomplishments.

Re:well, we tried damn hard... (1)

AhtirTano (638534) | more than 6 years ago | (#23233244)

What the hell are you talking about? Their cultures and languages are dying rapidly, killed off by American and Canadian encroachment. They are healthier than most indigenous groups of North America, and they have some of the more effective revitalization programs in place; but to say they were never "discredited" or "suppressed" is just silly.

Re:well, we tried damn hard... (2, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | more than 6 years ago | (#23233348)

30 years living in Alaska tells me you are just wrong, and ignorant of the facts.

The language is dyeing because it is largely useless to them, preserved mostly for historical purposes.

It is still taught, both at home, and in schools. You can even enroll in college courses teaching these languages.

Just as Norwegian is lost to by the second generation after immigration from Norway, so too is Inuit. Not by suppression. Simply thru disuse. A choice made by the peoples themselves.

These people have never been beaten. Their pride is intact. I've lived there. Have you? Or is this just more liberal ranting?

Re:well, we tried damn hard... (3, Informative)

AhtirTano (638534) | more than 6 years ago | (#23233786)

I am a specialist in North American indigenous languages. I work with multiple reservations on language and cultural revitalization, and while I do not work with any of the Alaskan communities, we attend the same symposiums, training sessions, conferences, etc.

You say the natives of Alaska have never been beaten or suppressed? Then why don't they have local sovereignty? They used to. Why are the lands of culturally distinct bands like the Tlingit and Haida controlled by Corporations (albeit natively owned), like Sealaska Inc.? Are you suggesting they asked for that socio-political structure? Just because we didn't just flat-out kill 95% of them (like in California), we didn't beat or suppress them? If there was no issue, why have there been two major acts of Congress designed to fix the situation?

Russia, Canada, and the United States took their lands, and changed their entire system of social organization, politics, and economics. (Only the last was inevitable.) They didn't get the same level of warfare, forced boarding schools, and outlawed religions as other groups further east and south, but to say that equals "not suppressed" doesn't follow. We forced upon them a socio-economic system that discourages the continuation of their ways and language. That's suppression, even if it is a "nicer" form of it than often otherwise practiced.

Re:well, we tried damn hard... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23233460)

...dunno about Alaska, perhaps it was a model of enlightenment, but as a Canadian who is generally proud of his country, we didn't do so well [wikipedia.org] (NB while this article focuses on the Indian population, the northern ones were deeply impacted by it as well)

(And we is the right word to use - when someone asks who defeated the Axis in WWII, do you say "we did"? or "a bunch of guys who have nothing to do with me did"?. If you're going to take credit for the good stuff, you have to accept responsibility for the rest as well.)

Re:well, we tried damn hard... (1)

El Torico (732160) | more than 6 years ago | (#23234372)

(And we is the right word to use - when someone asks who defeated the Axis in WWII, do you say "we did"? or "a bunch of guys who have nothing to do with me did"?. If you're going to take credit for the good stuff, you have to accept responsibility for the rest as well.)

When someone asks me that question I respond with, "The Allies - Great Britain, the US, the Soviet Union, Canada, China, Australia, New Zealand, France, and Poland."

I don't take credit for accomplishments that I didn't make, and I don't take responsibility for errors that I didn't make either.

and incidentally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23233544)

I have to take issue with your statement that They have never been defeated in battle, and never have been made war upon. That's crap. You're as bad as the lefties who say how great the Inuit are because they never fought wars. Their population density is too low to fit the definition of war. If in historical times an entire political unit of Inuit decided "let's go to war" how many healthy adult males could they muster? Even during the caribou season! Five? Ten? And who would feed their families in the meantime?

Inuit did not "war", and were not "made war upon", but only because when three guys shoot or stick a spear in a fourth, we call it "murder".

Was his name... (1)

Dripdry (1062282) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230876)

Nicholas Kerensky? Was he buried with his Battlemech?

Send your own DNA via Facebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23230892)

The Genomics [genomealberta.ca] application on Facebook lets you send genes to your friends (ok, not yours).

Re:Send your own DNA via Facebook (2, Funny)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230952)

sending genes to my friends is limited to a select number of females in my case ;)

Re:Send your own DNA via Facebook (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230972)

What the hell would you do with your DNA on facebook? And the link you gave just sends us mere mortals to the facebook login page, which doesn't say squat about what the "facebook genomics" application does.

I will say though that I do have respect for Genome Alberta, though none whatsoever for facebook.

Re:Send your own DNA via Facebook (1)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 6 years ago | (#23231036)

If you use this, be sure to use protection, haven't you ever heard of electro-gonorrhea the noisy killer?

Re:Send your own DNA via Facebook (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23232054)

That's also one of the goals of traditional social networking.

Great summary (1, Interesting)

Barny (103770) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230910)

Aboriginal of what continent?

Re:Great summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23230942)

It says it in the first paragraph of TFA. I suggest you read it.

Re:Great summary (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230956)

North America. He was found in north British Columbia in '99 when a glacier receded. He died somewhere between 1670 and 1850.

I just found a DNA link between... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23234204)

...this frozen dude and every other living human on the face of the planet today...

All of our DNA contains the exact same four chemicals: Adenine, Thymine, Guanine and Cytosine.

Zounds!!!! There you have it. We're all genetically linked!

Re:Great summary (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 6 years ago | (#23230958)

I know, I know, we don't RTFA around here. But the answer to your question would be North America. Specifically, they examined people from British Columbia, Yukon, and Alaska for similarities to the man frozen in the glacier up there.

Re:Great summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23231446)

This isn't a troll, it's a legitimate question. Sure it's in TFA but going by the attitude here, it would be sufficient to have the title "Link found between some cold dude and some other not so cold people"..

Sure you'll get some more details from TFA, but common.

Re:Great summary (1)

KeensMustard (655606) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235556)

Why is this modded as Troll? Are we supposed to guess which continent? If so, I would have guessed Australia. Surely the point of a summary is to include the pertinent information?

Only seventeen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23230944)

That's a remarkably narrow family tree!

Having traced my family tree back a couple of hundred years, I found that my great-great-great-great-grandmother had about three bazillion descendants (I am nowhere near coming up with an accurate count).

Re:Only seventeen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23231122)

We can't all be cockroaches, showoff.

Re:Only seventeen? (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 6 years ago | (#23231426)

Remarkably narrow by western European standards perhaps, but the arctic is thinly populated, and far more inbred than you might imagine.

These people did not have horses, and walked most places except along rivers and coasts. They did not go far to find a wife, and individual villages were often deeply inbred. Everybody within 100 miles was kin in one way or another, and usually closer kin than would be accepted in anywhere in the rest of North America.

Exactly so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23231688)

Even in that area there are way more than seventeen people within a hundred miles. As you point out, I would have expected everyone in the vicinity to be related to the frozen guy.

Re:Only seventeen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23232304)

Actually, the whole point of wolf and crow clans were to avoid inbreeding. You took your mother's clan and everyone of that clan was your family. You would be forbidden from marrying someone of your clan.

If you honestly believe these people never traveled more than 100 miles from when they were born to when they died, you are an ignorant fool.

Re:Only seventeen? (1)

dryeo (100693) | more than 6 years ago | (#23234370)

I read about this yesterday in the Vancouver Province. It seems this guy regularly traveled back and forth between the Yukon and the Coast. That is quite a bit more then a 100 miles and very rugged terrain.
Also according to the article I read about half of these relatives were in BC and half in the Yukon. The paper left you with the impression that he had a wife in each locality.
Of course this is a tabloid type paper so I wouldn't trust the science reporting to far.

just seventeen... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23231742)

u know what i mean;-)

Alright, you got me, I'll admit it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23230982)

I banged them all

Kwaday Dan Ts'inchi....Get some, Dude!x17!! w00t!! (0)

rts008 (812749) | more than 6 years ago | (#23231062)

This dude supplied genetic material to SEVENTEEN living people....before the interwebs and pr0n!!!

He HAD to have crawled out of his Mom's basement to get this lucky!

Who on /. can claim this same thing: impregnating 17 different people? (or impregnating the same person-or themselves 17 times without cleaning their keyboard and mouse?)

Damn, you Canucks are a lusty lot! If your winters weren't so cold, I'd move up there!

P.S. Can you all tell I've been drinking and posting tonight?!?!?

Re:Kwaday Dan Ts'inchi....Get some, Dude!x17!! w00 (1)

Stevecrox (962208) | more than 6 years ago | (#23231270)

He doesn't have 17 children but 17 possible decendents (with possibly even more) the article states that scientists believe he died somewhere between 1670 and 1850, assuming he had two kids, who in turn had two kids and we have a generation lifecycle of about 30 years (with the latest possible death date), it wouldn't be that out of place to expect 32 decendents assuming the earliest death date there is the possibility of 2643 decendents.

Of course I've pulled those numbers out of thin air and they could be much higher/lower but finding 17 decendents isn't that surprising.

Re:Kwaday Dan Ts'inchi....Get some, Dude!x17!! w00 (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 6 years ago | (#23232364)

Kudos for the math and statistics, but this was meant to be humorous....my bad!

Re:Kwaday Dan Ts'inchi....Get some, Dude!x17!! w00 (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 6 years ago | (#23231514)

> his dude supplied genetic material to SEVENTEEN living people..

Go back and re-read TFA. There have been no descendants identified.

He shares ancestors with 17 people, through his mother's side.

Re-read tfa!!! (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 6 years ago | (#23232468)

I did not read it the first time.(Hey- it's a /. tradition!!)

Bad joke on my part...sorry to disturb you.

See here:http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=537124&cid=23232364 [slashdot.org]

*voice over: Foghorn Leghorn: I made a funny son, now that 4-legged dog-looking critter over there is a CHICKEN and you are a Chicken Hawk-get it?*

Has everyone here lost their sense of humour but me, or am I just not PC?

Re:Re-read tfa!!! (1)

maj1k (33968) | more than 6 years ago | (#23233928)

actually, you're just incredibly un-funny.

I know who they are (1)

rogerborn (236155) | more than 6 years ago | (#23231064)


Of course he would have relatives living today. They all work in advertising at Geico. =)

Sorry. No Refunds.

just curious.... (0)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#23231124)

... was one of the 17, perchance, Steve Ballmer?

Here's the complete fossil relatives list: (0)

jpellino (202698) | more than 6 years ago | (#23232522)

17. Steve Ballmer
16. Donald Trump
15. Susan Powter
14. Dennis Kucinich
13. Ron Popeil
12. Helen Thomas
11. Steven Segal
10. Courtney Love
9. Rob Schneider
8. Neil Bush
7. John Ashcroft
6. Dan Quayle
5. Gene Simmons
4. Kevin Federline
3. Crispin Glover
2. Ann Coulter
1. Cowboy Neal

oblig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23231126)

let me guess, they all are in the 'Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer' Law firm

DNA... which database...? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23231130)

I read the article and as far as I can tell it doesn't explain how they found those 17 people. Who has a database scientists can check the Aboriginal's DNA against? The police? Did those people sign something that would allow the police to help third parties to search through their DNA?

Re:DNA... which database...? (1)

dryeo (100693) | more than 6 years ago | (#23234404)

According to a different article I read, they asked for volunteers in the area where they found him.

Somewhat scientifically interesting (1)

mdielmann (514750) | more than 6 years ago | (#23231156)

I'd say this was somewhat scientifically interesting. They found a body between 150 and 350 years old, and found some of his relatives. I wouldn't claim this as a huge scientific success, and there isn't enough information in the article for the scientific element to be enlightening. I wouldn't be surprised if there was no scientific relevance except for doing DNA tests to determine relationships. That would put it on the scale of scientific interest of paternity suits.
The bigger part of the article is about cultural relevance, which is higher, but there still isn't enough to say how valuable that is. Most of the value seems to be for those who are related to him, and the tribe(s) they're from.

Now get me some DNA testing on Kennewick Man, and I'll be interested.

Re:Somewhat scientifically interesting (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23232564)

I was thinking much the same. If this had been a 5,000 year old mummified/frozen man like Otzi the Iceman and they found living relatives it would have been a bit more exciting.

Unfortunately... (3, Funny)

CanadianRealist (1258974) | more than 6 years ago | (#23231170)

Due to the lack of a frozen will, the 17 people will now be heading off to court to fight over who inherits the frozen wooden bowl and spoon found with the man.

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23231222)

Some archaeologist was really into necrophilia.

Perhaps a win for genetics (1)

mschuyler (197441) | more than 6 years ago | (#23231228)

Perhaps this is a win for genetics research, or perhaps it is indicative of the size of DNA databases, which is more worrisome. Mr. Freeze wasn't really all that old, though. It's like saying they found a genetic link between you and your great great grandfather: Ancestry.com can do that. If they could do the same thing with the frozen remains of a 20,000 year old Neanderthal--now that would be interesting. Not only would it be ground-breaking research, it would mess up all the anthropological theories.

Re:Perhaps a win for genetics (1)

TheoMurpse (729043) | more than 6 years ago | (#23232268)

Well, I think it's a testament to the size of the DNA database. If the man is 300 years old (I think that's the upper estimate), that is approximately 12 generations back.

Suppose each generation has two children who live to reproduction. That's 4096 descendants alive today. Considering the world's population is now over 6 gigapersons, that's pretty remarkable that 17 of those 4096 descendants (I know they're only matrilineally related and not true descendants, but I'm fudging for the sake of simple math) had their DNA registered/stored/whatevered.

Re:Perhaps a win for genetics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23233984)

2 living to reproduction is probably the lower bound I'd say.

Re:Perhaps a win for genetics (1)

dryeo (100693) | more than 6 years ago | (#23234434)

According to a different article I read they were volunteers from the Natives in the same area, so it is not at all surprising they were related.
No trolling of databases involved

FROST PISt (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23231404)

eyes on the :real [gay-sex-a3cess.com]? it's going, at my freelance

so you find a native in north america... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23231548)

So you find a native in north america, and dna tests show that he is from north america - what's the story here-

In typical Champagne-Ashihik fashion (cheap shot, let's say western-northern native, cause we all know the nacho's(na-cho nyak dun) are worse), they have to complain - we told you so why didn't you listen to our stories, see -now will you build your science on our stories? give me a break....

What do you call 20 natives walking down the it street? - a family
What do you call 40 natives walking down the street?
- the clan

Re:so you find a native in north america... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23231888)

That's not even racist-funny, that's just boring. Go make better jokes.

sniff sniff (1)

ezwip (974076) | more than 6 years ago | (#23231602)

Did the Wolf Clan sniff the remains to idenfity this member?

Like, where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23231774)

Scientists have found a direct link between the frozen remains of a man found in a glacier in northern B.C. and 17 people living in B.C., Yukon and Alaska.


It's pretty sad when you have to read TFA to find out even what country we're talking about.
(Canada)

Nice use of Scientist's time (1)

Kabuthunk (972557) | more than 6 years ago | (#23231840)

Y'know, I'm all for DNA sequencing and more medical research in that area in general, but couldn't the scientists' time (which if I'm not mistaken is ridiculously hard to come by if you need any kind of DNA sequencing done) have been better spent than trying to identify the living relatives of a long, long, long dead guy.

Like seriously... we could spend time either using DNA sequencing to help solve cold-case murders, or we could sequence this ancient dead guy and a whole pile of people, and see if any of 'em are similar.

Captcha: verified

Two words, repeated three times: (1)

TheoMurpse (729043) | more than 6 years ago | (#23232612)

Public relations, public relations, public relations. If this increases DNA sequencing visibility in the general public's eyes, there might be more funding acquired.

Re:Nice use of Scientist's time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23232924)

Depends. You can also say that aggressive use of DNA sequencing creates the demand that funds more production-oriented facilities with lower cost. Like what happened with computers, speaking as someone who remebers when they were vastly expensive and watched aggressive demand cruch them down to today's ubiquity.

I mean we've got freakin /hard drives/ at disposable prices. It's jaw-dropping what demand can make cheap.

Also putting a hot buzzword like "DNA" in your funding proposal probably helps these days. Don't ever forget that scientists have to compete for funds. When universities are canvassing industry, government, and individuals for money, it probably helps to wave around numbers about how many of your projects involve DNA. And it probably helps draw those pesky fee-paying students too. It certainly helped make this project headline news.

captcha:sylvan

Actually, this could be very useful (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#23233648)

One of the interesting things is that we might start looking at how much the sequences have changed over the generations. It would give us an idea of mutation and generatic drift. In addition, if done right, we might be able to pull some virus from his body, which would show that drift as well. THough to be honest, on the later, I think that we might want to be careful. No sense bringing back live small pox.

Yukon (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23231886)

Because the summary didn't bother to explain what Wolf Clan....

This would be the Wolf Clan of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations in Yukon, Canada. Their traditional territory is about an hour and a half from Whitehorse, around Haines Junction. I live in Whitehorse but I'm not of this first nation. I believe they had strong trade ties with coastal first nations, I want to say Tlingit but I'm probably wrong.

It's an interesting discovery and an interesting moment for that first nation.

Re:Yukon (1)

spaceyhackerlady (462530) | more than 6 years ago | (#23234006)

It's an interesting discovery and an interesting moment for that first nation.

I think its a fascinating development. Anytime we can fit things together like that, there must be more interesting science just around the corner.

...laura whose ancestors came to Canada relatively recently (Loyalists on one side, circa 1900 on the other)

Dare I Say It? (1)

Eradicator2k3 (670371) | more than 6 years ago | (#23232186)

The Globe and Mail is reporting that scientists claim to have found a DNA link between the frozen remains of an aboriginal man and 17 living people.

It was so easy, a caveman could do it.

tr07l (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23232256)

perform kkeping and 5houting that 3 simple steps! and, after initial

Re: (1)

clint999 (1277046) | more than 6 years ago | (#23232736)

and here I was thinking lupus was a species, not a clan...

Now on Google (1)

Prisoner's Dilemma (1268306) | more than 6 years ago | (#23233330)

Well, pretty soon with Google Genetics, you'll (or at least someone) will be able to see that his descents search for the term 'back hair removal' 15% more than the general population, that the average income of people with those genes is ~18,500USD, and that they have a 85% higher chance of left nostril cancer. Convenient links to scrollable/zoomable views of their houses also available.

Kevin Bacon? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23234110)

The irony is that one of them is Kevin Bacon!

News Flash! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23234464)

Alive aboriginals believed to be related to dead aboriginal.

Are these people really serious?

In related news... (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 6 years ago | (#23234472)

...scientists claim to have found a DNA link between the frozen remains of an aboriginal man and 17 living people...

Ironically, all 17 people have GEICO for their auto insurance.

Chief Strand and LaTeX (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 6 years ago | (#23234680)

"This reaffirms the integrity of our oral history," Chief Strand said. "Our oral history needs to have a place in your scientific world."

What?! Most other "oral histories" have been written down by now. Hey, you! Chief Strand! Get yourself a laptop and start write! If you also install LaTeX you won't have to worry about not being scientific, as "LaTeX is the de facto standard for the communication and publication of scientific documents." as read on http://www.latex-project.org/ [latex-project.org] .

It's time for a change (1)

OneSmartFellow (716217) | more than 6 years ago | (#23235170)

I can't read 'First Nation' without wanting to stick a long finger down my throat.

Can't we come up with a better phrase to describe them. Why do we need to describe them at all, anyway. Isn't the label part of what makes segregation and discrimination work.

What happens when their ('First Person' tribes) claim as the first settlers is found to be incorrect; and evidence is uncovered showing that - actually - a Previous People (let's call them that already) were established in central and south America for 10,000 years before the 'First People' arrived in North America from Asia (Yes, you read it here first, they migrated from Australia)
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