Is This Russian Landscape the Birthplace of Native Americans?
Mountainous region of Siberia gave rise to New World peoples, study says.
New DNA analysis of ethnic groups living in the Altay Mountains (see map) revealed a unique genetic mutation that also occurs in modern-day northern Native Americans.
A possible link between Siberians and Native Americans is an "age-old question" that was first raised by European explorers in the New World, said study leader Theodore Schurr, an anthropologist at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
That's because some of those early explorers had also been to Asia, and they noticed physical similarities between the two populations.
Now the new genetic data has "allowed us to identify more precisely the founding types of these [Siberian] lineages that are present in North America," Schurr said.
Between 1991 and 2003, Schurr