Title

Physical anthropology and ethnicity in Asia: the transition from anthropometry to genome-based studies

Document Type

Journal Article

Faculty

Computing, Health and Science

School

School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Science

RAS ID

9013

Comments

Originally published as: Bittles, H., Black, M. L., & Wang, W. (2007). Physical anthropology and ethnicity in Asia: the transition from anthropometry to genome-based studies. Journal of physiological anthropology, 26(2), 77-82. Original article available here

Abstract

Initial physical anthropology studies into ethnic diversity were largely dependent on comparative whole body and craniometric measurements, and through time assessments of ethnic diversity based on these measures exhibited increasing statistical sophistication. Since the 1990s, in Asia as elsewhere in the world, human diversity studies have increasingly utilized DNA-based analyses, with Y-chromosome and mtDNA markers providing complementary perspectives on the origins and gene pool structures of different ethnic groups. This approach is illustrated in a study of population genetic structure in PR China, in which DNA samples from the Han majority and eight ethnic minorities were analyzed. The Y-chromosome and mtDNA data showed multiple paternal geographical and ethnic origins but restricted maternal ancestries. However, interpretive problems were apparent in the definition of a number of the ethnic study populations, which appear to reflect political as well as genetic influences. In all anthropological studies, whether based on anthropometry or genomic analysis, unambiguous and appropriate community identification is a prerequisite.

DOI

10.2114/jpa2.26.77

 

Link to publisher version (DOI)

10.2114/jpa2.26.77