Answering the big WHEN and WHERE questions in paleogenomics with machine learning
AI Lund lunch seminar 3 March 2021
Title: Answering the big WHEN and WHERE questions in paleogenomics with machine learning
Speaker: Eran Elhaik, Molecular Cell Biology, Lund University
When: 3 March at 12.00-13.00
Ancient DNA (aDNA) has changed the studies of history, enabling us to directly analyse early genetic variation. In recent years, there has been a sharp increase in the amount of collected aDNA and high-profile studies, but insufficient information about timing and geographical origin has limited the usefulness of the collected data and resulted in many erroneous reports. To correctly interpret paleogenomic data, it is important to answer two basic questions: WHEN and WHERE does the genetic material come from?
The WHEN question is usually answered with radiometric dating (RD). But, half of all published aDNAs are missing reliable and accurate RD.
The WHEN question is usually answered by assuming that the burial site is the same as the original habitat. All in all, this results in many vague and contradictory reports and erroneous conclusions.
These difficulties hinder studies of the origins of humans and domesticated animals.
We developed a machine learning-based approach to overcome these problems. In this talk, I will share the origin of Eurasian populations in minute details as emerged from our work.