The man with the oldest DNA in North America

Darrell ‘Dusty’ Crawford can now call himself the man with the oldest DNA in North America. His DNA is 83 percent similar to that of the Native Americans, and that’s a pretty high analogy.

Dusty has been living in the nature reserve of the American Blackfeet nation since birth. Just before his death, Dusty’s brother encouraged him to have his DNA tested. “As a joke, he wanted to check which of the two of us is most similar to our ancestors,” said Dusty. “But he died before he could test it himself.” To somewhat honor his dead brother’s wish, Dusty had his DNA tested. He did this at the American Cellular Research Institute (CRI), which traces the biogeographic origin of people.

Rich history

The result surprised both Dusty and the researchers at CRI. After his DNA was thoroughly examined, it appeared that Darrell’s “Dusty” Crawford ancestors settled in America 17,000 years ago, amount to be among the oldest DNA. And his DNA explained much more about the history of his family members. They would have first lived in the south of America and then gradually moved to the north.

And who is that family? The analyzes soon revealed that Crawford’s mitochondrial DNA or mtDNA belongs to the Haplogroup B, the DNA of the so-called Native Americans or Indians. The native Americans know four primal mothers according to the history books: Ai, Ina, Chie, and Sachi. Crawford is said to be a distant descendant of the Ina clan.

Mitochondrial DNA

Before the scientists were able to draw such conclusions, they analyzed Crawford’s mitochondrial DNA. That mtDNA is DNA that we only inherit from our mother. In Crawford’s case, no less than 83 percent of his DNA matches that of Ina. The remaining 17 percent is 10 percent European, 5 percent East Asian, 2 percent South Asian and 1 percent African.

It is not strange that Asian and European characteristics were found in Crawford’s DNA. The Haplogroup B is said to have traveled from Siberia to America. In addition, they made a few intermediate stops.

“Now the Ina line comes back mainly on the east coast of North America,” said the scientists at the Cellular Research Institute. But in reality they come from the south: “They settled mainly around Arizona”. That is on the border with Mexico.

The man with the oldest DNA in North America

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