Ancient GPS - frequently asked questions

What is ancient GPS?
Recent studies have demonstrated that geographical origin can be accurately inferred from genomic data and prompted us to embark on the unresolved question of inferring the geographical origin of skeletal finds, thus far assumed to be synonymous with their burial site. Whereas geographical inference based on anatomical or morphological information is highly complex and error-prone, particularly when the remains are physically damaged or fragmented, using ancient DNA for localization entails different challenges due to the lack of intermediate samples over space or time, the small number of SNPs, and their spurious nature. We developed the ancient Geographic Population Structure (aGPS), an admixture-based method that uses the relationship between admixture and geography to predict the geographical locations of samples. In plain words, we want to trace the (genetic) home of skeletons. We expect that aGPS would be a powerful tool in reconstructing the origins of modern humans far back.

ANU Honours student Clare McFadden said that being able to identify the sex of human skeletal remains
is crucial to avoid creating a distorted version of history: Credit: Michael Coglhan, Flickr

How does aGPS work
aGPS works similarly to our previous tools the Geographic Population Structure (GPS) and GPS Origins, which infer the most recent geographic origin of human DNA sequence from the DNA of surrounding populations. All these tools use autosomal data. GPS works best for individuals with four grandparents of the same geographical origins, whereas GPS Origins, works well for unmixed and two-ways mixed individuals.

How can I learn on new aGPS tools?

How can I take part in GPS research?
At this moment, we are not looking for participants.