Papuan peoples


Papuan peoples

The Papuans are the speakers of the Papuan languages and indigenous peoples of New Guinea. The other main group of peoples in Papua New Guinea are the Austronesian peoples.

Genetics

In a 2005 study of ASPM gene variants, Mekel-Bobrov et al. found that the Papuan people have among the highest rate of the newly-evolved ASPM haplogroup D, at 59.4% occurrence of the approximately 6,000-year-old allele. [ [http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/309/5741/1720 "Ongoing Adaptive Evolution of ASPM, a Brain Size Determinant in Homo sapiens"] , "Science", 9 September 2005: Vol. 309. no. 5741, pp. 1720-1722.] While it is not yet known exactly what selective advantage is provided by this gene variant, the haplogroup D allele is thought to be positively selected in populations and to confer some substantial advantage that has caused its frequency to rapidly increase, perhaps imbuing cognitive or behavioral abilities related to non-tonal languages and alphabetical scripts.

ee also

*People of New Guinea


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