Bahamas: Bahamian researchers contribute to “groundbreaking” study on ancient DNA in the Caribbean

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — On December 23, a team of international researchers including Bahamian co-authors Dr Michael Pateman and Dr Tanya Simms published a new study revealing details on how the islands of the Caribbean were originally settled.

Pateman is an archaeologist and curator/lab director at AEX Bahamas Maritime Museum; and Simms is a population geneticist and assistant professor at the University of The Bahamas‘ (UB) Department of Chemistry and Life Sciences.

The study, according to a press release, is “the largest genetic study to-date on ancient humans in the Americas”.

Using ancient DNA gathered from early inhabitants of The Bahamas, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Guadeloupe, St Lucia, Curaçao and Venezuela, the team analyzed the genomes of 174 new and 89 previously sequenced ancient people to trace their migration patterns and identify the possible origins of the first inhabitants of these islands.

In the article, 30 of the samples analyzed were from Lucayan DNA. The samples were gathered from throughout The Bahamas including in the northwest (Abaco), central (Andros and Eleuthera) and southeastern (Long Island and Crooked Island).


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