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Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Biology

First Advisor's Name

Rene Herrera

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

George Duncan

Third Advisor's Name

Ophelia Weeks

Fourth Advisor's Name

Bruce McCord

Fifth Advisor's Name

Alejandro Barbieri

Keywords

Neanderthal, Denisova, Archaic, Hominin, Armenia, Caucasus, AMH, Multiregionalism, Out of Africa

Date of Defense

3-29-2012

Abstract

In the present body of work two primary subjects have been addressed, both individually and in their correspondence, namely 1) the potential for Neanderthals to have contributed to the Modern Human population, and 2) the genetic diversity of one of the most prehistorically impactful human popuations, the Armenians. The first subject is addressed by assessing 1000 mutations in 384 current humans, particularly for those mutations which appear to derive from the Neanderthal lineage. Additionally, the validity of the Neanderthal sequences themselves is evaluated through alignment analysis of fragementary DNA derived from the Vindija Cave sample. Armenian genetic diversity is analyzed through the autosomal short tandem repeats, y-chromsome single nucleotide polymorphisms, and y-chromosome short tandem repeats. The diversity found indicates that Armenians are a diverse group which has been genetically influenced by the various migrations and invasions which have entered their historic lands. Further, we find evidence that Armenians may be closely associated with the peopling of Europe.

Identifier

FI12042318

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