Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Find Link Between Indian Caste Rank And Genetic Similarity To Europeans

Date:
May 15, 2001
Source:
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Summary:
In India, members of higher ranking castes are genetically more similar to Europeans, while lower castes are more similar to Asians, according to a study published in this month’s issue of Genome Research.

In India, members of higher ranking castes are genetically more similar to Europeans, while lower castes are more similar to Asians, according to a study published in this month’s issue of Genome Research.

Related Articles


The study is from an international team led by Michael Bamshad (University of Utah) and is the most comprehensive attempt so far to explore the impact of ancient Western migrations on people in India.

The origins of people living in India are under debate. Some 5000 years ago, Indo-European speaking people from West Eurasia entered India and purportedly mixed with native proto-Asian populations in the region. Historians believe these West Eurasian immigrants established the present Hindu caste system, while appointing themselves to higher rank castes.

In this scenario, members of higher rank castes should exhibit a closer genetic relationship to Europeans than lower rank castes, given the taboos prohibiting intercaste marriages. However, previous genetic studies with a limited focus have not produced a consensus on Indian origins. The present study compares maternally inherited DNA variations, paternally inherited variations, and bi-parentally inherited variations between 265 Indian males of different castes and 750 African, European, Asian, and other Indian males. The detailed comparison revealed that genetic similarities between Indians and Europeans tend to increase with caste rank.

Intriguingly, the scientists found different trends when comparing maternally inherited (mitochondrial) variations and paternally inherited (Y chromosome) variations. Maternally inherited DNA in Indian populations was overall more similar to Asians than to Europeans, though similarity to Europeans increased with rank. Paternally inherited DNA, on the other hand, was overall more similar to Europeans than to Asians. These results support the notion that the West Eurasian immigrants mixing with native populations were mostly male, and that they tended to insert themselves into high ranking positions in the developing Hindu Indian caste system.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "Scientists Find Link Between Indian Caste Rank And Genetic Similarity To Europeans." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 May 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010515080044.htm>.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. (2001, May 15). Scientists Find Link Between Indian Caste Rank And Genetic Similarity To Europeans. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010515080044.htm
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "Scientists Find Link Between Indian Caste Rank And Genetic Similarity To Europeans." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010515080044.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins