Unexpected Genetic Diversity

Genome sequencing of the first-known four New Zealanders has revealed surprising genetic diversity, according to new research by the University of Otago. The complete mitochondrial genomes of the individuals – found buried at Wairau Bar in Marlborough – who were most likely among the original Polynesians to settle in New Zealand, have been successfully sequenced by the researchers. Using this data to trace maternal lineages, it was discovered that three of the four individuals did not share a recent maternal ancestor, suggesting the voyage was undertaken by a variety of family groups. “That was unexpected, because from modern studies on small fragments of genome it looked like all modern Maori were very similar in their genetics,” paper co-author Michael Knapp said.


Tags: Cosmos Magazine  genetics  Maori  University of Otago  

In the Zone with Educator Terrance Wallace

In the Zone with Educator Terrance Wallace

Chicago-born Terrance Wallace founded the internationally lauded InZone Project that has been educating impoverished indigenous students in New Zealand for 10 years. InZone is now being replicated in his hometown. Maudlyne…