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This is not shocking, I’ve seen many test results that show Northern Chinese tend to group with North East Asians (Japanese and Koreans) and Southern Chinese tend to group more with Southeast Asians. The populations also have distinct (but often overlapping) appearances. Many of my Chinese friends have told me it is due to diet and climate. I do not think so.
The early genetic research (The History and Geography of Human Genes, 1996) of Dr. Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza showed that Northern Chinese could be grouped with other Northeast Asians (Koreans, Tungusic groups, Japanese) and that Southern Chinese grouped more with Southeast Asians, making the Han Chinese aggregate an intermediate population between the two, which matches their location geographic location. This new report gives us some detail as to the way this population cline occurred.
Based on what I know of Chinese history, Southern China was settled by the Han much later than the North and the people in the South were considered “barbarian” referred to as the various types of “Yue” (known as the 100 Yue) in later times. Eventually the people region that became Guangdong and North Vietnam were referred to as (Nan Yue, or South Viet). Most of these people were likely Austroasiatic speakers in origin (like present day Vietnamese and Cambodians). Since Northern Vietnam (Annam) was part of China on and off for over 1,000 years; and the south, by the end of Chinese colonization was controlled by Champa, a Malay people (Austronesian).
As far as I know there was a massive influx of Han Chinese into the region during the Song Dynasty due to Barbarian pressure in the north. I know assimilation was fairly complete by the Tang Dynasty as Cantonese speakers often call themselves “Tong (Tang in Mandarin) People” and talk of giving their children “Tong names”. They also still refer to their province and themselves as “Yue” to this day. I’m guessing by the Late Tang, the Sinization of the area was complete, but for Annam. Vietnam became independent from China after the disintegration of the Tang, since the “Viet or Yue” people lived in what is now Guangdong as well, I’m guessing by that time the people in Guangdong were mostly Sinized, and considered themselves Han Chinese, but most of the people further South did not.
Also, “South,” in China is the area from Shanghai down to the border of the Southeast Asian nations of Laos and Vietnam.
Qing (Tsing) Hua University is the top science and engineering school in China. A disproportionate number of high ranking CCP members graduated from there. Many of the current graduates go on to MIT and other top level international universities, so this is “nothing to sneeze at”. When I lived in China, I met a few African students who were studying medicine and engineering at Fudan University. All of them were fluent in Mandarin and a couple were also fluent in Shanghai Dialect, very few foreigners ever manage to master a dialect, so that was impressive (as they are not formally taught). African students studying on scholarship in China go back decades to the socialist/communist solidarity movement they were trying to form with other developing nations against “imperialism”.
This article, along with China’s rise in cell phone and internet technology, is quite exciting. I have read a lot in the media about China’s investment in natural resources and infrastructure projects (many for show) but I did know about technology transfers. I do not recall a lot of talk about this in Broadman’s book, Africa’s Silk Road, so I’m assuming this is still a small but growing market segment. In related news, IBM has new investment plans for South Africa.
‘Browning’ the technology of AfricaBy G. Pascal Zachary
Thursday, Dec 27, 2007, Page 8
FORGET THE MASSACHUSETTS institute of Technology. Hello, Tsing Hua University. For Clothilde Tingiri, a hot young programmer at Rwanda’s top software company, dreams of Beijing, not Cambridge, to realize her ambitions. Desperate for more education, this fall she plans to attend graduate school in computer science — in China, not the US.
The Chinese are no strangers to Rwanda. Near Tingiri’s office, Rwanda’s largest telecom company, Rwandatel, is installing new wireless telephony equipment made by Huawei of Shenzen. Africa boasts the world’s fastest-growing market for wireless telephony, and Huawei — with offices in 14 African countries — is running away with the business, sending scores of engineers into the bush to bring a new generation of low-cost technology to some of the planet’s poorest people.
–Japan defense chief mulling action in event of UFO attack – This is pure comedy! Actually I’m almost certain the U.S. has some outline of a contingency plan in the case of extraterrestrial life being discovered as it will likely cause political/social instability as religious fanatics lose their mind that their holy book did not tell them about aliens. Still, a UFO attack? What is worse is he announced it to the media!!!
–New charges menace Jacob Zuma in South Africa – Wow, that was quick. Who wants to bet Mbeki made a few calls and had a few envelopes of info dropped in the mail anonymously to the prosecutors office? Something slick is going on. “A criminal conviction would end his political career, for South Africa’s Constitution bars felons from becoming president.”
–Africa: Continent Must Scale Up Efforts to Reach Millennium Goals, Says Migiro – Damn I said something similar a few weeks ago. I got criticized on one site for not recognizing and praising Africans on their progress. :-O When I was growing up I did not get praised for doing something “half-assed” but that was my family, but it is not just Africa’s fault. As the article rightly points out, the developed nations have not lived up to their end of the bargain either.
–Selection Spurred Recent Evolution, Researchers Say – The gist of this new study is that recent evolution = large populations + moving from ancestral environments to quite different ones (jungle to desert for instance). The authors claim there has been significant evolution in the last 40 years and it varies between population groups around the world. Larger populations have more potential mutations, some of them being good and eventually sweeping across the population. You will have more selection for a mutation if you move to a place where they are advantageous. If you stay in the same place and do not leave for hundreds of thousand of years and the environment rarely changes you will not evolve as fast, because you do not need to adapt to change.
This paper is not scientific law, there are a lot of holes that need to be filled The researchers are getting their sample data from the hapmap, but keep in mind that although we have mapped the human genome, we do not know what most genes do. all Humans are about 99% similar, so we are talking about 1% of the genome. The issue I have is that people (
racists with low IQs) read these studies and think evolution means “becoming superior” or that the fact different groups of people are more superior to each other or very different from each other, almost to the point of species or subspecies. That is not the case. Evolution just means acquire traits that will allow a person to reproduce offspring. In some societies that can mean being more intelligent, having shinny skin, or being more less muscular or hairy. It depends. Most of the genes they are tracking, that we know vary in humans, have to do with things like cancer rates, skin coloring, lactose tolerance, etc. In everyday life for most people this is not significant. My wife and I are “genetically distant”, especially when compared to some of my relatives, but I get on with her and her family much better than I do with some of my extended family, so although different groups might have different average frequency of genes, that does not mean there is no overlap or that different frequencies of some genes make people significantly different, especially in behavior. Genes do not operate in a vacuum they interact with the environment as well. The picture is much more complicated.
Racists and other types of idiots read “divergent” and “population group” as “far apart” and “political race”. In reality if I told you that my house was closer to the nearest store than the post office, that tells you nothing about the actual distance you need to travel or how far apart the buildings are in relations to each other in miles (km). It could be my house is right next to the store and the post office is two buildings over from the store, or the store is 50 miles from my house and the post office is 80 miles from the store. Without comparing “divergence” to something and giving a measure of what it means people tend to get carried away with their own political bias or stupidity.
In the end, the old belief, that people have not evolved since the dawn of civilization (about 10K years ago) is likely false but the extent of that evolution on the species and the resulting utility is still largely “educated guess work”.
–Inquiry opened into S. Korean front-runner – Another investigation into Lee Myung-bak’s business dealings. I’m do not know enough about the issue to determine if it is purely politically motivated or not. I blogged Sunday on Lee’s popularity, hinging primarily on faith that he is the person who can renew the economy. Here is another interesting article on what is going on in S.Korea. It looks like no one is sure if a sitting president can legally stand trial, so hopefully this mess will resolved without more fighting. 🙂
–Signs of TB in Ancient Skull Support Theory on Vitamin D – The long and short of it is that tuberculosis has been found in ancient people, and scientists believe that it was an environmental pressure that led to the selection of light skin in populations that lived too far from the equator to produce enough Vitamin D, due to sun exposure, in order to maintain a healthy immune system. Today we have fortified milk and multivitamins, in ancient times if you were dark skinned and lived in the England or Siberia you would likely get various infections, rickets, and not live very long, unless (like Inuits) you eat something rich in Vitamin D to make up the differences, such as seal blubber. The other side of that is light skinned people who live in the tropics have to monitor their sun exposure or risk sun burn. In ancient times repeated sunburn could lead to infection and death, you likely would not live long enough to get cancer. Since light skin (and eyes for Europeans) is relatively recent and evolved convergently in East Asia and Europe, I am guessing people avoided the far North due to the ice age(s) so it would not matter.
–Nigeria: Fayose, Ibori Sent to Prison – “The two men are being tried for several offences, bordering on abuse of office, corruption and money laundering”. This is always a positive thing. The loyalists are up in arms because they know their gravy train of kick-backs has just stopped. The “rule of law” has to start somewhere, there is bound to be push-back.
–Whiz Chimps Outsmart College Students – New study shows that young chimps have superior memories to adult chimps and humans. It is believed that as a primate (including us) grows older there is a trade off in detailed memory for a greater capacity abstraction/symbolism. Human children were not tested, but I believe it is logical to assume, the human drop off is sharper than the Chimp because of our far greater capacity for abstract thinking. So does this mean that people with photographic memories are closer to chimps (lacking the ability to think highly in abstraction)? I would guess, on average, they have normal or above average abstract reasoning, but have also turned on more ancestral genes for memory; or it could be that these people have some type of newly evolved ability that reorganizes the brain far differently from Chimps, but with similar results for memory. Fascinating.
–South Korean presidential candidate cleared of charges – Update on the S.Korean election. The front runner, Lee Myung Bak has been cleared of all charges. More on this here.
–The coming China crash – Another prediction of Chinese pending Chinese economic doom, think I heard this before. This person makes a much stronger argument IMO. Are there any counter arguments out there? I would like to hear them before I weigh in. What would happen, if China tightened banking loan regulation and let the real value of the current debt naturally reduce over time due to inflation?
–Rui Chenggang On Japan – I came across an excellent essay last night, by a Chinese national who visited Japan, and his views on the Sino-Japanese relationship. For the Chinese version click here. I want to share this passage, below the fold:
There has been a lot of news about HIV in China this week. I do not have much to say about the article below, other than I have blogged about this before, but in regard to North Western Europeans. I’m sure someone is trying to develop a vaccine based on the what makes these people immune, to my knowledge, a different protein structure on the type of immune cells that does not allow HIV to attach to them. A few years ago, I read a story concerning a group of Kenyan prostitutes who were thought to be immune, but it turned out to be bogus.
Two women found with HIV-immune mutant gene
SHENZHEN: Two women have been identified as carrying a mutant gene that is immune to HIV/AIDS, the first such cases uncovered in China, a researcher said.
The finding is the joint effort of a research programme, “Association of Human Genetic Polymorphisms with HIV Affections,” jointly conducted by the University of Washington in the US State of Washington and local Infectious Disease Hospitals and medical institutions in Guangdong Province.
Tuofu Zhu, associate professor of University of Washington and associate director of the Clinical Core at the Centre for AIDS Research (CFAR), introduced the programme to China a year ago as a part of his global research in nations in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia.
“Before, such mutant genes were only found in Caucasians. The finding has encouraged us to do further research in China, with the aim of developing medicines to prevent and cure HIV/AIDS for different races,”said Zhu.