Ancient DNA reveals how Europeans got their light skin and lactose tolerance

Writing in The Conversation.  We return to the Bronze Age and the legacy of the Yamnaya.

Slurp and thank the Yamnaya.


4 thoughts on “Ancient DNA reveals how Europeans got their light skin and lactose tolerance

  1. This reminded me to try to see what David W. Anthony is working on. Very useful post

    Roger Even Bove, PhD
    Department of Economics & Finance (retired)
    West Chester University
    West Chester PA 19383-2220
    Please request home email, address and phone number from me by emailing me here..


  2. My Malaysian wife, both of whose parents were born in Chenghai, across the river from Shantou in south-east China, can drink milk with no side-effects. What does this say?


    • I would say that this emphasises the rich and varied genetic heritage of any individual. Like all lactose tolerant people, she must be the direct descendant of someone (somewhere in the world) who had a mutation that allowed the lactase enzyme to persist into adult life. For most lactose tolerant people, the mutated DNA has reached them via their ancestry in a milk-drinking culture, where natural selection has made it very common. In East Asia, lactose tolerance is rarer, but not absent. ….and everyone has ancestry from around the world, that they know little or nothing about, so I can’t give you a specific story, but I’m not too surprised that such traits can be found anywhere.


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