the degree of mixing in the DNA allows us to deduce when this mixing took place between their ancestors. Thanks to genomic techniques, scientists led by David Comas, IBE Principal Investigator and Director of UPF’s Department of Experimental and Health Sciences , have been able to read these great historical events in the DNA of today’s North Africans. From a historical point of view, the three great flows of people in countries like Morocco, Tunisia or Libya have been Arabization in the 7th century AD. C .; the slave trade from sub-Saharan Africa from the 1st century BC. During the Roman Empire, and in the XVIII d. C., because of the boom in traffic to America. The results show that all these events had an impact on the genome of the inhabitants of the region, since peaks of migratory flow can be observed that coincide with those dates.

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On the other hand, the genomes of Berbers and Arabs from North Africa studied, about 200 individuals in total, have turned out to be more similar than previously thought. Djibouti Email List Berbers have historically been considered as indigenous populations spread throughout North Africa, according to Comas: “probably at some point they were genetically different, but the different migrations in the area have caused a great mixture and have diluted their differentiation”. Although he points out that “these results are strictly genetic and do not imply that the Berbers do not have a very differentiated cultural and social identity.” In fact, at the genetic level, individuals from the same North African population have turned out to be very different from each other despite being geographically very close. Arabization, in the 7th century AD. C., as well as other migrations, spread throughout North Africa,

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but they affected differently within the same location. For example, “in the zenata, a group of Berbers from the Algerian desert, mixing with sub-Saharan individuals has not affected all individuals equally, possibly due to social structure,” explains Lara Rubio, a doctoral student at the IBE and first author of the article. The publication is the result of an international collaboration with the University College London and four North African universities and has the financial support of the Generalitat of Catalonia and the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. The journal Molecular Biology and Evolution is the leader in the field of evolutionary biology.

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