Thursday, March 13, 2008
Indian DNA links to '6 Founding Mothers'
NEW YORK - Nearly all of today's Native Americans in North, Central and South America can trace part of their ancestry to six women whose descendants immigrated around 20,000 years ago, a DNA study suggests.
Those women left a particular DNA legacy that persists to today in about about 95 percent of Native Americans, researchers said.
This DNA is found in the mitochondria, the power plants of cells. Unlike the DNA found in the nucleus, mitochondrial DNA is passed along only by the mother. So it follows a lineage that connects a person to his or her mother, then the mother's mother, and so on.