Besenyos, Ogur and Oguz
Distribution of the B type blood allele in native populations of the world
Part 1 The genetics of the Blood types
Races And People
William C. Boyd Ph.D. and Isaac Asimov Ph.D
RACES AT LAST: THE ADVANTAGES OF BLOOD GROUPS
A person's blood group is one of his physical characteristics, just as a dark skin may be, or blue eyes or a hooked nose. Like other physical characteristics, blood groups can be used to divide mankind into races.
You may ask at once: But would they be any better for the purpose than skin color or any of the other physical characteristics we have talked about in this book?
The answer is that in some ways they would be.
1. They are "hidden" characteristics. You can't tell a man's blood group by looking at him. This reserves race classification to scientists who are interested in the development and evolution of man. It keeps a person from making judgments of his own about his neighbor's race and from building up superstitions and prejudices about it.
2. Unlike the more familiar physical characteristics, blood groups are inherited in known ways. The A, B, and O blood groups are controlled by a single gene series consisting of three genes. The M and N blood groups are controlled by a single gene series consisting of two genes. The Rh blood groups are controlled by a single gene series consisting of eight genes. In each case, we know which genes are dominant over which….
THE KEY WORD: FREQUENCY
…Inhabitants of Asia are more commonly of blood type B than are people who live elsewhere. A group of people in Bengal, India, was tested, and it was found that 4O percent of them were of blood type B. Only 32 percent were of blood type O, and only 2O percent of blood type A. The rest were of blood type AB.
In general, over all the world, blood type O is the most common. Blood type A is next, and blood type B is after that. Blood type AB is the least common.…
HUMAN HISTORY BY GENES
…In the first place, we must understand that the O, A, and B genes are all very old. They are not the result of recent mutations. For one thing, tests on Egyptian mummies show the three blood-group genes to be present there in about the same proportions as in modem Egyptians….
…the most reasonable theory, so far, is one that supposes that modern man first developed in central Asia at a time when its climate was more favorable than it is now. This earliest group of modern man may have had gene frequencies of 25 A, 15 B, and 60 O out of every hundred A-B-O blood-group genes.
This is about the gene frequency found in central Asia today….
…as we approach closer to historical times and as the human population on Earth increases, there were larger and larger emigrations out of central Asia. These were large enough to carry the B gene with them. The regions that were nearest central Asia, such as Manchuria and northern India, got the most. Eastern Europe got the most in that continent, and the B gene trickles off as you move westward. Northeastern Africa got the most in that continent, and the B gene trickles off as you move westward and southward….
…Peoples carrying the B gene, however never reached the American Indians,…
THE HUMAN RACES, BY GENES
… groups of human beings, splitting off from the original central Asian population, had different gene frequencies as far as the A, B, and O blood groups were concerned. It is very likely that the gene frequencies with respect to other physical characteristics were also changed. If these groups multiplied in isolation, they would finally become populations with marked differences in appearance. (This state of affairs is known as genetic drift.)…
…The people of Asia and those of Africa generally have higher frequencies of the B gene than other people do. They differ from each other in the Rh series. The Asian peoples have a high frequency of a gene called Rhz to distinguish it from the other genes of the Rh series. The African peoples, on the other hand, have a high frequency of another Rh gene called Rho.
…One of the Rh genes is usually written as rh (with a small "r.") The rh gene is recessive to all the other genes in the Rh series. Therefore, it is only when a person is homozygous for rh (that is, has two rh genes) that it can be detected. Such a person is said to be Rh-negative. A person with only one rh gene or none at all is Rh-positive.
…the American, Australian, and Asiatic groups have little or no rh gene. The African group contains a small quantity of rh gene. The inhabitants of Europe (including Americans and Australians who are descended from Europeans), however, have a good deal of the rh gene; about one out of seven among them is Rh-negative….
…Now we can summarize our six genetic races: *
The six races (plus a seventh race which is less clear-cut) divide the world in an interesting manner. We can follow immigration waves that we could not follow if we used skin color or some other obvious physical characteristic….
Part 2 Evolution of the Blood Types
"Blood groups and the history of peoples" in The Eat Right 4 Your Type Encyclopedia
…Only in the last century have scientists and anthropologists begun using biological markers such as the blood groups in the search for humanity’s imprint on our distant past. These studies have allowed a greater understanding of the movements and groupings of early peoples as they adapted to changing climates, mutating germs, and uncertain food supplies. Recent analyses, using sophisticated genetic measures, have produced the most accurate picture to date of human evolution.
The variations, strengths and weaknesses of each blood group can be seen as part of humanity’s continual process of acclimating to different environmental challenges. Most of these challenges have involved the digestive and immune systems.
…In genetics it is not the actual age of the gene that matters, it is its frequency or drift. This is computed by geneticists using a formula called the Hardy-Weinberg equation. Hardy-Weinberg posits that if the only evolutionary force acting on the population is random mating, the gene frequencies remain unchanged constant. In essence if you start off with a small number of a particular gene in a larger gene pool (such as the gene for blood group B in the gene pool for ABO blood type) and nothing other than random mating occurred, at the end of a period of time, you would still have a small number of B genes in the ABO gene pool.
As humans migrated and were forced to adapt their diets to local conditions, the new diets provoked changes in their digestive tracts and immune systems, necessary for them to first survive and later thrive in their new habitats. Different foods metabolized in a unique manner by each ABO blood group probably resulted in that blood group achieving a certain level of susceptibility (good or bad) to the endemic bacteria, viruses and parasites of the area. This probably more than any other factor was what has influenced the modern day distribution of our blood group. It is fascinating to note that virtually all the major infectious diseases that ran so rampant throughout our pre-antibiotic history have ABO blood group preferences of one group or another. (2)
This results from the fact that many microbes possess ABO "blood types" of their own. It is perhaps useful to understand that the ABO blood group antigens are not unique to humans, although humans are the only species with all four variants. They are relatively simple sugars which arte abundantly found in nature. A bacteria which for example possessed an antigen on its surface that mimicked the blood group A antigen would have a much easier time infecting a person who was group A, since that bacteria would more likely be considered "self" to the immune system of a blood group A person. Also microbes may adhere to the tissues of one ABO group in preference to another, by possessing specialized adhesion molecules for that particular blood group.(3)
The horror of the Black Plague, which ran unchecked throughout Europe in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, is a perfect example. The Plague was a disease caused by bacterial infection and was almost certainly fatal to those who contracted it in the early years of its initial spread. By the fifteenth century, however, fatalities were rare, although many people continued to contract the infection. In just two generations, traits were developed in the survivors that protected them from fatal infections. Since these traits were necessary to survival, they were then passed on and retained as a form of genetic memory.
The Black Plague is especially interesting from a perspective of the ABO blood groups, since Yersinia is a bacteria with a preference for individuals of specific ABO group, in this case, group O. (4,5)….
…in pre-urbanization days the survival advantage would have laid with blood group O as they are known to be more resistant to the flukes and worms that routinely parasitized these early humans, probably because they are the only blood group with antibodies against two other antigens, A and B.
These changes are reflected in the local success or failure of each of the blood groups, which appear to have each had a moment of pre-eminence at a critical juncture in our history. The ascent of humans to the top of the food chain (the early advantage of blood group O), the change from hunter-gathering to a highly concentrated, urban environment and agriculturally-based diet (the ascent of blood group A), and the mingling and migration of the races from the African homeland to Europe and Asia (the opportunity for blood groups B and AB).
THE ANCESTRAL FOUNDATION
…if the mutations that produced the A and B antigens are ancient, the gene for blood group O is infinitely older.
Another dimension testifying to the great antiquity of group O comes from the science of physical anthropology and suggests that a greater part of humanity’s existence has been lived exclusively as group O.
New studies on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) support the theory that Homo sapiens emerged in Africa and only later infiltrated other regions….
…high rate of blood group O suggests that the Amerindians and Eskimos are directly descended from Cro-Magnon ancestors, probably Mongolians, who migrated around 15,000 B.C. to the Americas….
…few Native Americans are group B, so they must have migrated to the Americas late enough to pick up the Rh positive gene, but too early to pick up the gene for B. (9)…
…the gene carried by people who are blood group O is ancient by evolutionary standards….
THE AGE OF THE HUNTER-GATHERERS
Our first human ancestors likely emerged in sub-Sahara Africa between 170,000 and 50,000 years ago. These ancestors probably ate a rather crude, omnivorous diet of plants, grubs, and the scavenged leftovers of other, more successful predatory animals…
…Early human's relationship to their environment changed dramatically with the appearance of our first direct ancestor, Cro-Magnon, around 40,000 B.C. …As skillful and formidable hunters, Cro-Magnons soon had little to fear from any animal rival….
By the time of the Cro-Magnons, hunting and the consumption of a mostly carnivorous diet had become a way of life. It was in the midst of this carnivorous frenzy that the digestive attributes of Blood Group O reached its full expression, with the highly efficient acid and pepsin production of the stomach geared for the digestion of meat. With no natural predators (other than themselves), and an assured supply of game, the population of wily, physically agile Cro-Magnon hunters must have flourished.
…By 50,000 B.C., most large game herds were already extinct in Africa. The scarcity of a primary food source led to widespread migration in search of new and fertile hunting grounds….
…This depletion of the large game in Africa, coupled with climatic changes and possibly population pressures encouraged early humans to begin moving out of Africa. The more barren northern areas, previously covered with ice, had started to warm, while a shift in the trade winds began to parch and desiccate what had once been fertile land in the African Sahara.
All of these factors joined together into what was quite possibly the greatest series of migrations in human history. These migrations seeded the planet with a base population of blood group O, helping to make it the widespread and ubiquitous blood group it continues to be to this day….
By 30,000 B.C., bands of Cro-Magnons were migrating eastwards and northwards in search of new hunting lands. By 20,000 B.C., migration into Europe and Asia was so significant that large game herds began disappearing from those areas as well.
Other food sources had to be discovered, and the search was a desperate one. Under these pressures, our ancestors may have become omnivorous again, feeding on a broader menu of new plant and animal species. In particular, the food resources of the shore and the sea were systematically exploited for the first time.
…housing and clothing… …allowed bands of hunters to search for new game herds in northern grasslands and forests. By l0,000 B.C., human hunting groups occupied all the main land masses of the earth, except for Antarctica…. …Some 5,000 to 15,000 years later, other bands managed to cross the Bering Strait from Asia and entered the Americas….
…The dominance of the Cro-Magnons eventually brought about their own downfall. They suffered greatly from their own success. Overpopulation soon led to the exhaustion of available hunting grounds. Before long, most of the large game herds in the populated regions were destroyed by overhunting. This led to increased competition for a limited food supply. Competition led to war, and war to further migration….
THE AGRICULTURAL DAWNINGThe Neolithic Period, or "New Stone Age" followed the "Old Stone Age" or Paleolithic period of the Cro-Magnon hunters, beginning around 30,000 B.C. Agriculture and animal domestication are generally recognized as the hallmarks of its culture. The ability to cultivate grains and livestock allowed these early people to forgo the hand-to-mouth existence of their nomadic ancestors, and settle down in cities, allowing for substantial population concentrations…
The Neolithic Period was also an important watershed in the distribution of the ABO blood groups. This new, relatively sedentary, agrarian lifestyle and the major change in diet resulted in a new mutation in the digestive tracts and immune systems of these early people. Many of them became carriers of group A blood. The blood group A variant allowed humans to tolerate and better assimilate grains and other agricultural products. Blood group A initially appeared in any significant numbers in the early Caucasian peoples, sometime between 25,000 and 15,000 B.C., somewhere in western Asia or the Middle East. The gene for group A was carried into western Europe and Asia during the movement of these Neolithic societies, especially a branch termed the Indo-Europeans,…
…The Indo-Europeans… …between 3500 and 2000 B.C. spread southward into Southwestern Asia, especially to Iran and Afghanistan. At some point after this, they began to spread again, this time further westward, into Europe…. …their migration serve to transport the gene for group A…
…The Neolithic Revolution was the original "diet revolution," as it introduced new foods and lifestyle habits into the simpler immune systems and digestive tracts of the early hunter-gatherers, and produced the environmental stress necessary to spark the development of a new blood group variation, A. As the digestive tract of this new blood group gradually lost its ability to digest the carnivorous diet of the hunter-gatherers, the simpler, pre-agricultural diet dependent largely on hunting and gathering disappeared.
Unlike blood groups B and O, there are many varieties of group A. The major grouping, A1, accounts for about ninety-five percent of all A blood. The largest subgroup, A2, is found principally in Northern Caucasians. A2 is found in very high concentration in Iceland and Scandinavia, particularly among the Lapps, ancient settlers of the area. They are almost unique in their high frequency of A, and have the highest frequency of A2, registering forty-two percent in one group. The A2 gene is almost entirely confined to Caucasian populations.
The European frequency of group A decreases as we head eastwards. Over much of Europe the frequency of the A gene is greater than twenty-five percent. It is also found in considerable numbers around the entire Mediterranean Sea, particularly in Corsica, Sardinia, Spain, Turkey, and the Balkans. It is clear that humankind most often laid down permanent settlements in those areas where conditions offered them the best chance of survival.
The gene for blood group B first appeared in significant numbers somewhere around 10 to 15,000 B.C., the tail end of the Neolithic period, in the area of the Himalayan highlands now part of present day Pakistan and India. Like the environmental conditions, which spawned the advent of group, A, the development of blood group B was in large part a response to changes in the environment. But unlike A, which began to supplant group O as a response to new types of infections, then thrived as a result of the new dietary changes, group B appears to have been more of a response to climatic changes, followed by a different set of dietary adaptations. Life in the tropical flat savannahs of eastern Africa gave way to a harsher existence as the Cro-Magnon hunters migrated to the colder, drier, mountainous areas of the subcontinent and the barren endless plains of the central Asian steppes.
It is possible that blood group B may have been the only blood group with the capabilities to survive in such a harsh environment. There is some science behind this theory: For example, variability in the levels of the hormones testosterone, estradiol, and somatotropic hormones in mountaineers of the Pamirs and Kirghizes was examined in relation to their place of residence in terms of elevation above sea level. At high altitudes blood O group had had lower concentrations of estradiol and testosterone, blood group B the highest. (13)
Under times of famine, two biologic functions diminish: First is the ability to fend off infection. And the second is the ability to reproduce. Essentially omnivores, group B may have been the only blood group whose immune systems were capable of functioning with a diet described by one Roman historian as "soured milk and mare's blood." In addition to having the ability to survive pestilence, blood group B women may be more fertile than the A and O counterparts (14) and may begin to menstruate earlier. (15)
Higher concentrations of the group B gene exist in direct relationship with the demographics of the pre-existing caste system. Since the caste system was the direct result of consecutive layers of foreign conquest, it appears that the B gene may have been introduced into the Indian subcontinent via conquest. (16) In a study among fourteen Hindu caste groups, besides Christian and Muslim populations of West Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh, India. All the Hindu castes except Brahmin, Kshatriya and Reddy exhibited relatively higher frequency of group B over group A (24)In a study of ABO distribution along the Silk Route of Northwestern China a distinct increase of blood group B was seen, especially when those subjects of Mongolian extraction were compared to Caucasian. (25)
An almost continuous belt of mountainous terrain extends from the Urals in Russia to the Caucasus in Asia, and then onto the Pyrenees of southern France. This barrier split the migrations of the blood groups into two basic routes; a northern stream and a southern one. The invaders taking the southern approach became the ancestors of the Mediterranean people and western Europeans, and carried with them the gene for blood group A. The Ural Mountains prevented a large migration westwards from Asia, although small numbers of Caucasians entered eastern Europe, carrying with them the gene for blood group B that they picked up by intermingling with the Asian Mongolians. This barrier served to divide blood groups into a western group, A; and an eastern group, B.
Blood group B Mongolians continued to travel northward, toward present day Siberia. They developed a different culture, dependent on herding, and emphasizing the use of cultured dairy products. These nomadic people were expert horsemen, and wandered extensively over the Siberian flat lands, the great Steppes. These nomads must have been compact, tightly knit, and genetically homogenous. A recent study using sophisticated polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology determined the ABO groupings of on the dried remains of nine human mummies, which had been discovered at Taklamakan desert in 1912. Of the nine, eight were group B. (17) At various times they penetrated large swaths of Eastern Europe, at one time reaching as far as the gates of Vienna, Austria. The Mongolians were certainly responsible for introducing the gene for blood group B into the eastern European populations.
Two basic blood group B population patterns emerged out of the Neolithic revolution in Asia: an agrarian, relatively sedentary population located in the south and east, and the wandering nomadic societies of the north and west. This schism stands as an important cultural remnant in Southern Asian cuisine - the use of dairy products remains practically nonexistent. To the Asian culture, dairy products are considered the food of the barbarian.
In the Middle-East… …a third century BC Egyptian mummy, 'Iset Iri Hetes' was recently typed and found to be group B. (18)
…Africa in general (independent of any racial categorization) has a higher incidence of group B than Europe…
…Jewish populations…(have) …a trend towards higher than average rates of blood group B. The Ashkenazim of Eastern Europe and the Sephardim of the Middle East and Africa, the two major sects, share high rates of group B blood and bear no discernible differences. Babylonian Jews differ considerably from the present-day Arab population of Iraq, in that they have a high frequency overall of group A, and an even higher frequency of group B blood.
…To modern day anthropologists, blood group B continues to this day to be an "Eastern" blood group. It is found in high numbers among Asians such as the Chinese, Indians, and Siberians. In Europe, blood group B is more frequently found in Hungarians, Russians, Poles, and other eastern Europeans. It is not found in large numbers among western Europeans. Among pre-Neolithic people, such as the Basques and Amerindians, group B is practically nonexistent.
Of all the ABO blood groups, B shows the most clearly defined geographic distribution. Stretching as a great belt across the Eurasian plains and down to the Indian subcontinent, blood group B is found in increased numbers from Japan, Mongolia, China and India, up to the Ural Mountains. From there westward, the percentages fall until a low is reached at the extreme western end of Europe.
Blood group B is a distinctly non-Indo-European blood type. In Europe, only two areas with a high rate of blood group B appear: one among the group of non-Indo-European peoples known as the Finno-Ugrics (such as the Hungarians and the Finns), the other among the central Slavic peoples (Czechs, Southern Poles, and Northern Serbs). The Viking invaders may have also had a relatively high percentage of B gene, since many of the towns of Britain and western Europe that are linked to the coast by internal lines of communication such as large rivers, have a disproportional amount of blood group B when compared to the surrounding territory.
The small numbers of blood group B in old and Western Europeans represents western migration by Asian nomadic peoples. This is most clearly seen in the easternmost Western Europeans, the Germans and Austrians, who have an unexpectedly high incidence of blood group B blood compared to their western neighbors. The highest frequency of blood group B in Germans occurs in the area around the upper and middle Elbe River, an important natural boundary between "civilization" and "barbarism" in ancient and medieval times.
Modern subcontinental Indians, a Caucasian people, have some of the highest frequencies of blood group B in the world.
Blood Group Distribution TODAY
…Until the end of the Second World War, physical anthropology usually meant the comparison of various physical characteristics of the body between different human populations and individuals. This usually included measurements of the body and its parts, especially the skull. (Now)… the blood groups have come to provide an alternative to the often highly subjective methods of body measurement. Here was a definitive biological marker, that could be used to map migrations and classify human groupings. Physical anthropology had its first scientific tool….
Part 3 Geographical distribution maps
Distribution of Blood Types
Blood provides an ideal opportunity for the study of human variation without prejudice. It can be easily classified for dozens of genetically inherited blood typing systems. Also significant is the fact that we do not take blood types into consideration in selecting mates. In addition, few people know their own type today and no one did a century ago. As a result, differences in blood type frequencies around the world are most likely due to other factors than social discrimination.
All human populations share the same blood systems, although they differ in the frequencies of specific types. Given the evolutionary closeness of apes and monkeys to our species, it is not surprising that some of them share a number of blood typing systems with us as well.
When we donate blood or have surgery, a small sample is usually taken in advance for at least ABO and Rh systems typing. If you are O+, the O is your ABO type and the + is your Rh type. It is possible to be A, B, AB, or O as well as Rh+ or Rh- . You inherited your types from your parents and the environment in which you live can not change them.
We have learned a good deal about how common the types of these two blood systems are around the world. It is quite clear that the distribution patterns are complex. Both clinal and discontinuous distributions exist, suggesting a complicated evolutionary history for humanity. This can be seen with the global frequency patterns of the type B blood allele (shown below). Note that it is highest in central Asia and lowest in the New World and Australia. However, there are relatively high frequency pockets in Africa as well. Overall in the world, B is the rarest ABO blood allele.
Distribution of the B type blood allele in native populations of the world
At 10-35% frequency in most populations of the world, the A blood allele is more common than the B allele. The highest frequencies of A are found in small, unrelated populations, especially the Blackfoot Indians of Montana (30-35%), the Australian Aborigines (many groups are 40-53%), and the Lapps, or Saami people, of Northern Scandinavia (50-90%). The A allele apparently was absent among Central and South American Indians.
The O blood type (usually resulting from the absence of both A and B alleles) is very common around the world. It is particularly high in frequency among the indigenous populations of Central and South America, where it approaches 100%. It also is relatively high among Australian Aborigines and in Western Europe (especially in populations with Celtic ancestors). The lowest frequency of O is found in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, where B is common.
These patterns of ABO blood allele distribution are not similar to those for skin color or other so-called "racial" traits. The implication is that the specific causes responsible for the distribution of human blood types have been different than those for other traits that have been commonly employed to categorize people into "races." Since it would be possible to divide up humanity into radically different groupings using blood typing instead of other genetically inherited traits such as skin color, we have more conclusive evidence that the commonly used typological model for understanding human variation is scientifically unsound.
The more we study the precise details of human variation, the more we understand how complex are the patterns. They cannot be easily summarized or understood. Yet, this hard-earned scientific knowledge is generally ignored because of more demanding social and political concerns. As a result, discrimination based on presumed "racial" groups still continues.
Le mappe genetiche di Cavalli Sforza
Genetic maps of Cavalli Sforza
Luca Cavalli Sforza, genetist of international reputation and a teacher of genetics in the Stanford University, has collected during the years an enormous quantity of genetic traits pertaining to the people of all the Earth. This data have been processed and reassembled in the genetic maps.
These genetic maps are often spoken in the atmosphere of study, but it was thought it would be useful to render them available.
The first two maps represent the distribution in Europe of two blood groups.
The maps have been created with a complex mathematical processing, and indicate a series of genetic components, from the piu' strong to piu' weak, found in the genetic patrimony of the European people
The first genetic component shows the diffusion of Neolithic agriculture. The second one possibly shows a genetic adaptation to the cold, but it is not certain. The third genetic component shows the diffusion of nomadic shepherds from the Euroasiatic steppes. The fourth shows the Greek expansion in the second and first millennium BC. The fifth genetic component indicates that Preneolithic populations which have not been absorbed from the Neolithic populations that came from the east
Distribution of the Btype blood allele in native populations of Europe
Distribution of the Rh neg type blood allele in native populations of Europe
Distribution of the Third Genetic Component type blood allele in native populations of Europe
Besenyos, Ogur and Oguz