November 12, 2005

Peter Forster's Neolithic Project

Peter Forster, one of the authors of the new study on ancient European farmers has a Neolithic Project. It provides mtDNA testing, as well as interpretation of results obtained from other testing services:
The Neolithic Project is an independent continuation of the ancient DNA work on the first European farmers from 7500-year-old Neolithic sites, published with our German and Estonian colleagues in the leading magazine Science. For details on our recent publication, see the Press Release below.

Our venture Genetic Ancestor Ltd is now asking members from the public who are of European descent (including those living outside Europe) to provide DNA samples for exploring the genetic fate of the first farmers who colonised Europe about 7500 years ago.

There is a major archaeological puzzle to solve. Why did the first prehistoric farmers enter Europe, completely transform the culture from primitive hunting and gathering to sophisticated farming, house-building and pottery, but then apparently not leave a large number of typical farming N1a female lineages in the European population today?

These farming N1a lineages now make up less than 0.2 percent of European female lineages. Why?

We aim to analyse a large number of modern European saliva samples to find out where in Europe the ancient farming lineages have survived until today, in order to address this question.

If you register for this new project, we will send you a home test by post, for sending us your saliva sample. Your registration fee of 35 US-Dollars will contribute to covering our costs for the home test, postage, handling, and lab materials. We are able to keep these lab costs lower than usual, because we only carry out expensive detailed lab analysis on the small percentage of those samples which have been identified (using a novel inexpensive preliminary genetic screening test) for the farming mtDNA types identified in the ancient remains.

More info on the offered services.

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