A genetic study of N. Indian population

Dominik Wujastyk ucgadkw at ucl.ac.uk
Thu Mar 6 20:50:23 UTC 1997

The weekly journal _New Scientist_, 8 March 1997 (no. 2072), page 9,
contains an article from which the following is excerpted:

India looks farther east for its ancestors.

The physical appearance of the people of northern India has led historians
to assume they are more closely related to the European Caucasoid
populations that to their neighbours to the east.  But an international
group of geneticist claims that this view is wrong.

Some of the northern Indians, say the researchers, have much more in common
with Chinese and Japanese people than was previously thought.  The results
could change the way that historians view human migration into the Indian

[...] "India is really a transition zone between the Caucasoids and
Mongoloids," says Narinder Mehra, director of the department of
histocompatability and immunogenetics at the All-India Institute of Medical
Sciences in New Delhi. Mehra belongs to an international team studying the
genetics of histocompatibility in populations worldwide.

[...] The scientists concentrated on the human leucocyte antigens (HLA)
which dictate whether a person undergoing a transplant will accept or reject
a donated organ or tissue.

[...] of the 17 subtypes of a gene [...] 44 per cent of a group of 46 people
living in Delhi had the same subtype as 69 per cent of a group of northern
Chinese.  And the subtype most commonly found in European populations was
totally absent.  

[Mehra's sample consisted of] Hindus with family roots in the north Indian
states of Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list