European genes altered by Black Death

Discussion in 'Europe and Russia' started by Ash, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. Ash

    Ash Regular Member

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    The Black Death of the 14th century may be written into the DNA of survivors' descendants, new research finds.

    The study reveals that Roma people (sometimes known as gypsies, although this is considered a derogatory term) and white Europeans share alterations to their genetic code that occurred after the Roma settled in Europe from northwest India 1,000 years ago. The plague of the 1300s, which killed at least 75 million people, is a likely candidate for forcing this evolutionary change.

    "We show that there are some immune receptors that are clearly influenced by evolution in Europe and not in northwest India," said study leader Mihai Netea, a researcher in experimental internal medicine at Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center in the Netherlands.

    "India did not have the medieval plague, as Europe had," Netea told Live Science. "We have also demonstrated that these receptors are recognizing Yersinia pestis, which is the plague bacterium." [In Photos: 14th-Century Black Death Graves Discovered]

    Searching for similarities

    Netea and his colleagues made their discovery by scanning almost 200,000 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), or short segments of DNA that vary among people. They tested people from Romania, as well as Roma people. For social and economic reasons, Netea said, the Roma have lived among Europeans since about A.D. 1000, without much interbreeding between the two groups. That gives researchers a rare opportunity to study two genetically distinct populations in one geographical region.

    The researchers looked for genetic variations that appeared in both Europeans and Roma people. Then, they took that list and crossed off the genetic variations that also appeared in a population of northwest Indians, to rule out evolutionary change that originated outside Europe.

    The result was a list of about 20 genes that show evidence of convergent evolution between Europeans and Roma — meaning the two groups started out different but evolved to look more similar because of pressures in their environment.

    Black Death genetics

    The genes on the list have a variety of functions. One gene, SLC45A2, is known to be involved in skin pigmentation. Others are linked to immune-system function.

    One immune-related cluster included three altered genes, making it the most obvious candidate for closer perusal. The cluster, called TLR2, was already known to be involved in building the receptors on the surface of leukocytes, immune cells that recognize and destroy foreign invaders.

    Because plague was such a widespread and devastating event in Europe, Netea and his colleagues reasoned that the Black Death outbreak, which occurred after the Roma arrived, might have put pressure on this gene cluster to evolve. To test the idea, they looked at how cells engineered to express TLR2 would hold up against Y. pestis and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, an ancestor of Y. pestis. They found that TLR2 caused a heightened immune response when exposed to both bacteria.

    Other diseases could have altered the same genes, Netea said, but plague is a strong candidate, because it affected Europe and not northwest India, and because it had such a widespread, devastating influence. The findings could have medical implications even in today's world, where plague is no longer such a danger. For example, autoimmune disorders, in which the body attacks its own tissues, may arise because of immune systems programmed by epidemics to respond strongly to the threat of invasion, Netea said.

    Humans "were modified, basically, by the infections," he said.

    European genes altered by Black Death | MNN - Mother Nature Network


    the Indians who left for europe all that time ago, were escaping persecution from the Islamic invaders.
     
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  3. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    I dont think so. Escape would be to south east asia and not two oceans away.
     
  4. Ash

    Ash Regular Member

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    There are theories as to why they left, I quote below from the following source( I am using snippets from the article but it is an interesting article and well worth the read)

    Romani People (Roma) Who Migrated From India 1000 Years Ago | India First-Hand

    Incredible India – Romani People
    Hari | April 28, 2010 | 4 comments
    All of us know what the Germans did to the Jewish people under Adolf Hitler. About six million Jews from Europe were systematically exterminated by Nazi Germany in what is known as the Holocaust. But the Jews were not the only victims of Nazi Germany. The Nazis also targeted the Polish, Soviet prisoners of wars, homosexuals and handicapped individuals for extermination. In addition the Nazis also tried to eliminate a group of people known as the “Romani people”. It is estimated that about 225,000 to 1.5 million Romani people were executed in gas chambers during World War II. Who are these Romani people?

    The Romani people are an ethnic group with Indian origins who live mostly in Europe (small numbers of them also live in some parts of Africa and North America). They are also known as Roma or gypsies. Studies have shown that Roma are genetically closer to an Indian than to European populations. DNA studies also show that the Punjabi’s and Rajputs of India are related to the Roma people of Eastern Europe particularly those who live in Hungary. But the North Western Indian origins of the Roma have been disputed by some experts who believe that the Roma are from Eastern and South Eastern parts of India.

    The language spoken by the Romani people is Romani. It is an Indo-European language. This language is not longer spoken in India but is related to Punjabi. But there are some studies (one by Nature Magazine) that suggest that the Romani language is much more closely related to Sinhala (an Indo-European language spoken in Sri Lanka).

    When did the Romani leave the Indian sub-continent? There are many different theories about when the forefathers of the Romani people left India. The most widely accepted theory seems to be that they started migrating from India towards the Persian Gulf and to Eastern Europe starting in 1000 ACE. Within the Indo-European language family the Romani language is considered a New Indo-Aryan language (NIA). The NIA languages only have two genders (masculine and feminine). In these languages most of the “neuter” nouns became masculine or feminine. It is believed that most of the Indo-Aryan languages spoken before 1000 ACE (known as the Middle Indo-Aryan (MIA)) had three genders.

    "Why did they leave India? Again there are many theories. From the 9th century onwards North West India came under repeated attacks from Mongol and Turkish invaders (including Mohammed Gazni). These invaders faced stiff resistance from the Rajputs but ultimately many of these small Rajput kingdoms were defeated. It is believed that many of these Rajputs who were defeated were taken back by Gazni and others as slaves. There are others who believe that the Roma left India because of famine or because of religious and caste based prosecution"

    "The Romani people are an ethnic group with Indian origins who live mostly in Europe (small numbers of them also live in some parts of Africa and North America). They are also known as Roma or gypsies. Studies have shown that Roma are genetically closer to an Indian than to European populations. DNA studies also show that the Punjabi’s and Rajputs of India are related to the Roma people of Eastern Europe particularly those who live in Hungary. But the North Western Indian origins of the Roma have been disputed by some experts who believe that the Roma are from Eastern and South Eastern parts of India"

    "The Banjara people of India are considered to be closely related to the Romani people. They live in the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh and parts of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. Many of them speak the Lambadi language which is a Rajasthani dialect of Hindustani. Irrespective of where they live in India today many of them believe that they are Rajputs from Rajasthan. Some of the Banjara people also believe that their ancestors left India through the Himalayas"
     
  5. feathers

    feathers Tihar Jail Banned

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    Roma of Europe have nothing to do with the eastern and south Indians. Roma of Europe are fair skinned people and Eastern and South Indians are tan skinned people and have different facial and physical features.

    Lambadas are of North-west Indian origin which are found in Andhra Pradesh including Telangana regions and there are 5 classes in Lambada. Bhukya (Rathod) 2. Vadthiya (Jadhav) 3. Chowhan 4. Pamar 5. Banoth (Ade). and total population of Lambadis in Andhra Pradesh is around according to 2001 census is 20, 77,947.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2014

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