Thu, 10 May 2018
Ancient DNA is helping to find the first horse tamers, and a single gene is spawning a fierce debate in salmon conservation
Who were the first horse-tamers? Online news editor Catherine Matacic talks to Sarah Crespi about a new study that brings genomics to bear on the question.
The hunt for the original equine domesticators has focused on Bronze Age people living on the Eurasian Steppe. Now, ancient DNA analysis bolsters the idea that a small group of hunter gatherers, called the Botai, were likely the first to harness horses, not the famous Yamnaya pastoralists, often thought to be the originators of the Indo-European language family.
Sarah also talks with news intern Katie Langin about her feature story on a single salmon gene that may separate spring and fall-run salmon. Conservationists, regulators, and citizens are fiercely debating the role such a small bit of DNA plays in defining distinct populations. Are the spring and fall runs different enough to both warrant protection?
This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.
[Image: Jessica Piispanen/USFWS;Music: Jeffrey Cook]
Authors: Sarah Crespi; Catherine Matacic; Katie Langin