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    Australian Aborigines Were Once Indians - Study
    By News Staff | July 21st 2009 06:39 PM | 3 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    New genetic research in BMC Evolutionary Biology found telltale mutations in modern-day Indian populations that are exclusively shared by Aborigines.  The new study indicates that Australian Aborigines initially arrived via south Asia.

    Dr Raghavendra Rao worked with a team of researchers from the Anthropological Survey of India to sequence 966 complete mitochondrial DNA genomes from Indian 'relic populations'. He said, "Mitochondrial DNA is inherited only from the mother and so allows us to accurately trace ancestry. We found certain mutations in the DNA sequences of the Indian tribes we sampled that are specific to Australian Aborigines. This shared ancestry suggests that the Aborigine population migrated to Australia via the so-called 'Southern Route'."

    The 'Southern Route' dispersal of modern humans suggests movement of a group of hunter-gatherers from the Horn of Africa, across the mouth of the Red Sea into Arabia and southern Asia at least 50 thousand years ago. Subsequently, the modern human populations expanded rapidly along the coastlines of southern Asia, southeastern Asia and Indonesia to arrive in Australia at least 45 thousand years ago. The genetic evidence of this dispersal from the work of Rao and his colleagues is supported by archeological evidence of human occupation in the Lake Mungo area of Australia dated to approximately the same time period.

    Discussing the implications of the research, Rao said, "Human evolution is usually understood in terms of millions of years. This direct DNA evidence indicates that the emergence of 'anatomically modern' humans in Africa and the spread of these humans to other parts of the world happened only fifty thousand or so years ago. In this respect, populations in the Indian subcontinent harbor DNA footprints of the earliest expansion out of Africa. Understanding human evolution helps us to understand the biological and cultural expressions of these people, with far reaching implications for human welfare."

    Comments

    Most aborigines are genetically closer to mongols than they are to most Indians. Haplogroup C may have originated in India, but Haplogroup R which descended from F is most likely to have originated from India. While Indians may look like people outside of India, if anything those particular groups of people look Indian. The Aryan invasion was a tactic used by the british to divide and conquer. There is no solid physical evidence for an invasion eastward into India. As for the aboriginals they suffered a similar fate to their C cousins in Asia. The C group was almost wiped out in the southern regions of Asia by incoming arrivals of F descendants. This forced the C group of modern day mongol/turkic/various siberians to settle in the cold unfertile regions of North and Central Asia.

    Trying to cut Africa out again are we from their rightful spot in history?

    I feel that the name of this article is erroneous. Even though human evolution is not static and even though indigenous groups such as Australian aboriginals that have not intermixed with other groups still follow an evolutionary path, they are probably closer genetically to the original people that took the migration path through south-east asia than indians who have had invasions from other cultural groups - macedonians, persians, arabs, etc. Should the article not be titled: "Indians once were Australian Aborigines"?