#2 Introduction to Genetics for Archaeology

Lecture Two - DNA in Time & Space: mitosis & meiosis, mitochondrial DNA, genetic expression & regulation, lactose persistence, alleles, Mendelian & polygenic traits, blue eyes phenotype & genotype

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Welcome to the second lecture of this course, an introduction to genetics for archaeology. This week we are advancing from the foundational biochemistry we looked at in lecture one, and developing it in several directions - firstly a more advanced look at how gene expression and regulation works, and then the principles of heredity with regards to alleles, dominant and recessive genes and how we move to genes to physical traits. I've tried to work in some relevant examples to act as case studies, one on lactase persistence and milk drinking, and another on blue eye colour.

These principles underpin how archaeologists can exploit genetics to study ancient individuals and populations, and we can develop these further in the last two lectures when we dive into the archaeological literature.

Next week will be on methods and techniques of archaeological genetics, such as sequencing and extraction.

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