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Lecture: Ancient DNA by Dr. Kelly Graf

Texas A&M University

Fascinating stuff! The ancient skeleton of a child was discovered near the village of Mal’ta in south-central Siberia in the late-1920’s. A recent DNA analysis of the skeleton, believed to be 24,000 years old, has shown that the Mal’ta child’s people were ancestors of modern Native Americans, suggesting First Americans came directly from Siberia.

Dr. Kelly Graf (pictured), assistant professor in the Center for the Study of First Americans and Department of Anthropology at Texas A&M, helped to conceive the project and traveled to the Hermitage State Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, where the remains are housed. Her team’s analysis determined the biological sex of the child, and is the oldest complete genome of a human sequenced so far.

The discovery raises new questions about a much-debated topic — the timing of human entry in Alaska and ultimately North America. Dr. Graf will speak about the project on Thursday, April 10 at 5:30pm at the Museum of the Coastal Bend, Victoria College (2200 East Red River in Victoria), in a lecture that is open to the public. Admission is free for museum members and pay-what-you-want for all others. This is the first in the museum’s Spring 2014 lecture series. For more info, CLICK HERE.

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