Thursday, September 13, 2018

Beakerfolk and Cystic Fibrosis (Farrell et al, 2018)

Smithsonian Magazine has an article of interest for Beakerwatchers and migration archaeology specialists:

"Tracking Down the Origins of Cystic Fibrosis in Ancient Europe" - Smithsonian Magazine

Farrell via Smithsonsian Mag

That Smithsonian article reduces down the most recent study by Philip Farrell et al in the August 2018 issue of Nature "Estimating the age of p.(Phe508del) with family studies of geographically distinct European populations and the early spread of cystic fibrosis"

Back in 2015 I blogged about their previous research in "Origin and Spread of Cystic Fibrosis".

That's enough reading anyway, but I'll give you the ultra Cliff's Notes version:

- Cystic Fibrosis is mostly limited to Caucasians and it clearly peaks in Northwestern Europeans
- The mutation spread around the time Beakerfolk were marauding through Western Europe
- Cystic Fibrosis sucks to death if you have two copies
- But for others, it must have some useful purpose - exposure to heavy metals is a strong possibility
- The ancestral carriers were from the neighborhood of the Black and Caspian Seas