Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Coverage of the Dodecad Project in Nature

There is coverage of the Dodecad Project in this week's Nature. Below you can find a version of the graphic included in the article, which includes all studied populations.
You can also download a hi-res version of this from here. I understand that this was probably edited for space, but the distinctiveness and distribution of the components is best seen with the full array of populations.

The source of this figure is from my Eurasian analysis with K=15, although the color-coding is a bit different. In the original post you can also find "population portraits" which show individual-level admixture estimates for these populations.

The Nature piece highlights the connection between "Northern Finland" and Siberia, but this should really read "Finland and Northern Russia", the former coming from Dodecad Project members from different parts of Finland, the latter from Russians from Vologda included in HGDP.

I find the Finnish/Siberian connection quite interesting, as it bridges the gap between European Finnic and Siberian Samoyedic ones within the Uralic language family, but the emergence of an Altaic component (dark grey) is even more exciting and unexpected: Altaic speakers are shown to possess, from Europe to the Pacific and spanning all three major sub-families of Altaic (Turkic such as Yakut and Chuvash, Mongolic such as Buriat and Daur, and Tungusic such as Evenk and Hezhen), a common genetic component which is otherwise rare in both Indo-European speakers of Western Eurasia and Sino-Tibetan, Hmong-Mien, and Paleosiberian populations of Asia. Hence, this appears to be a real genetic correlate of a language family's expansion.

The Nature piece also highlights the Joe Pickrell affair. It's a great story, because it shows how added value can be had by combining an "open source" model of genetic inquiry with traditional genealogy.

If you've come here via Nature, feel free to browse around and send me feedback in either the comments or at

I've also posted a lot of material in my regular blog, Dienekes' Anthropology Blog, mostly under the Dodecad, ADMIXTURE-experiments, and GALORE tags. In particular, I've just finished my Human Genetic Variation trilogy:
If you want to join the Project, please note that data submission is currently closed, but feel free to subscribe to the feed to be alerted of opportunities to join the project, or to keep track of its progress in general.


  1. Congratulations on this recognition, Dienekes!

  2. The Finnish Sberian connection is perhaps easier to understand after knowing that all lands from Estonia and Finland to the river Ob in Siberia were settled by Uralic speaking people, already thouhands years ago. Slavs broke this continuity so recently as 1000 years ago. Uralic were a linguitic common denominator like Indo-European for languages from Asia to Europe.