Diversity of Natives in South America

By studying the genome of a mummified Incan boy, geneticists have discovered an untraced lineage that represents genetic diversity before the arrival and colonization of the Spanish. This particular DNA signature has almost vanished completely from people living in South America today. Three modern people today are the only ones left with the same kind of genetic signature. People today contain European DNA that bears the marks of the period of colonization and natives dying out due to the introduction of new diseases.

The finding of a new genetic sequence in the first inhabitants of South America will bring a change in the thinking of the people who crossed the Bering Straits from Asia. A rare sequence like this could be interpreted as to mean that as groups of people in Latin America became more isolated, their DNA became more unique from the drop in contact with other people. The Southern Andes, where this boy was found, is a region that could lead to the restriction of contact between people. Due to the lack of people with the same DNA signature, it will be hard to trace this lineage back to where these people came from and discover more about the diverse groups of people in Latin America before Spanish colonization.



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