Indigenous communities from different parts of the world are related
scientists now have firm genetic evidence that early Austro-Asiatic settlers in India, believed to be the oldest, migrated from here to south-east Asian countries and populated them. These early tribes migrated out of the country through the north-eastern states, a study published in BMC Evolutionary Biology (March 27 issue), says.
Genetic data has revealed that ancestors of the present day Austro-Asiatics could be one of the earliest inhabitants of India. Also, tribes like Munda and Santhal from Chotanagpur plateau, Khasi from Meghalaya and Nicobarese from Andaman and Nicobar are genetically linked, despite their apparent ethnic differences. These tribes also have links with the Austro-Asiatic speakers of south-east Asia, the study says.
Aiding medicine Lead author of the study B Mohan Reddy of the Indian Statistical Institute, Hyderabad, told Down To Earth that the study has significant implications in medical genetics as well. "These communities might share the same genetic variation responsible for a particular disease. If we find this variation