Code rage: The “warrior gene” makes me mad! (Whether I have it or not)
Just when you think the blame-it-on-our-genes craze can’t get worse, the “warrior gene” goes viral. The latest media outlet to flog it is the Dr. Phil show, which on April 4 broadcast “Born to Rage?”. From the promo: “Scientists believe they may know why some people are quicker to anger than others. A new study suggests that inside a rageaholic’s DNA, ‘a warrior gene’ may be pulling the strings. Could today’s guests be genetically predisposed to fits of fury?”
Dr. Phil, a psychologist whose real name is Phil McGraw, presented three “rageaholics”—including Lori, a self-described “Tasmanian devil,” and Scott, a reality-TV star and “bully”—as well as Rose McDermott, a political scientist at Brown University and warrior gene researcher. McDermott claimed that the warrior gene, which occurs in about 30 percent of the population, makes you more likely to engage in “physical aggression”.
Dr. Phil had the rageaholics tested, and guess what? They all had the warrior gene! “This is information to know that you are more susceptible, at risk for, and predisposed—like someone who is fair-skinned and will burn more readily in the sun,” Dr. Phil sagely informed his guests. “It doesn’t mean they need to go through life sunburned. They take precautions to protect against that.” The Tasmanian devil sighed, “It’s a relief there’s something linked to this anger, and it’s not brought on because I want to do it.”
Dr. Phil’s Web site links to a company called FamilyTreeDNA, “the leading direct-to-consumer DNA testing company in the world. ” Send a cheek scraping to the company and it will tell you if you have the warrior gene for $69—$99 if you don’t go through Dr. Phil’s Web site.
This cheesy talk show is hardly alone in hyping the warrior gene. In fact, Dr. Phil borrowed his headline from a recent National Geographic broadcast, “Born to Rage?”, which also explores “the disturbing possibility that some people are born to rage. ” The show follows Henry Rollins, a self-described former punk rocker with a nasty temper, as he interviews “outlaw bikers, mixed–martial arts fighters” and other tough guys and, once again, McDermott. ABC News jumped on the bandwagon last December with an interview with McDermott, who stated: “In many, many studies [the warrior gene] appears implicated in behaviors that look like they’re related to physical aggression or some kind of conduct disorder.”
The story of the warrior gene dates back to the early 1990s, when several groups reported a link between violent aggression and a gene on the X chromosome that encodes for an enzyme called monoamine oxidase A (MAOA), which regulates the function of the neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. The correlation first emerged from studies of a large Dutch family whose male members were mildly retarded and extremely violent. Two were arsonists, one tried to run over an employer with a car, another raped his sister and tried to stab the warden of a mental hospital with a pitchfork. The men all lacked monoamine oxidase A, suggesting that they possessed a defective version of the MAOA gene.
Later, other researchers reported a correlation between violent aggression and an allele of the MAOA gene, MAOA-L, that produces low levels of the MAOA enzyme; the correlation was reportedly stronger if carriers had experienced some sort of trauma as children. The MAOA allele occurs in apes and Old World monkeys as well as in humans, leading to speculation that the allele arose 25 million years ago in the common ancestor of these primates and was subsequently favored by natural selection. In a May 4, 2004, article reviewing all this research, Science dubbed the MAOA allele “the warrior gene,” the oldest reference I have found to the term.
Race, inevitably, reared its head. In 2007 Rod Lea and Geoffrey Chambers, researchers at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, reported that MAOA-L occurs in 56 percent of Maori men. “It is well recognized,” the researchers commented in The New Zealand Medical Journal, “that historically Maori were fearless warriors.” The researchers’ racial profiling was based on a study of 46 men, who needed to have only one Maori parent to be defined as Maori. Lea and Chambers reported that MAOA-L was less common among Caucasians (34 percent) and Hispanics (29 percent) but even more common among Africans (59 percent) and Chinese (77 percent).
In 2009 Kevin Beaver, a criminologist at Florida State University, claimed that males with MAOA-L are more likely to report being gang members (pdf). But his study also showed that the vast majority of MAOA-L carriers are not gang members; moreover, about 40 percent of the gang members were not MAOA-L carriers. Like McDermott, Beaver was featured on the National Geographic show “Born to Rage?”
The 2009 study by McDermott and four colleagues, “Monoamine Oxidase A Gene (MAOA) Predicts Behavioral Aggression Following Provocation,” which triggered much of the recent publicity given to the warrior gene, was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The article claimed that MAOA-L carriers were more likely than noncarriers to respond with “behavioral aggression” toward someone they thought had cheated them out of money they had earned in a laboratory test. “Behavioral aggression” was defined as making the putative cheater consume hot sauce.
Even disregarding the issue of whether giving someone hot sauce counts as “physical aggression,” McDermott’s study provides little to no evidence for the warrior gene, because the difference between carriers and noncarriers was minuscule. McDermott et al. examined 70 subjects, half of whom carried the warrior gene. The researchers found that 75 percent of the warrior gene carriers “meted out aggression” when cheated—but so did 62 percent of the noncarriers. Moreover, when subjects were cheated out of smaller amounts of money, “there was no difference” between the two groups.
Obviously, the warrior gene cannot possibly live up to its name. If it did, the whole world—and China in particular, if the racial statistics cited above are remotely accurate—would be wracked by violence. The warrior gene resembles other pseudo-discoveries to emerge from behavioral genetics, like the gay gene, the God gene, the high-IQ gene, the alcoholism gene, the gambling gene and the liberal gene. (See my previous columns on the liberal gene and gay gene.)
The abysmal record of behavioral genetics stems from two factors. First, the quest for correlations between thousands of genes and thousands of traits and disorders is prone to false positives, especially when traits are as squishy as “aggression” and “childhood trauma” (the variable that helps some researchers link MAOA-L to violent behavior). Second, the media—including respected scientific journals like Science and PNAS as well as shows like Dr. Phil—are prone to hyping “discoveries” that will attract attention.
The media’s fascination with the warrior gene recalls the lurid claims made decades ago concerning “XYY syndrome,” in which men are born with two Y chromosomes instead of one; the syndrome affects about one in a thousand men. In the 1960s British researchers identified nine men who had an extra Y chromosome and had a record of violent outbursts. This correlation was not surprising, because the men were all incarcerated in a mental hospital for violent patients. Other researchers, also focusing on institutionalized patients and criminals, quickly claimed to have found evidence that XYY men were hyperaggressive “supermales” at risk of becoming violent criminals.
The XYY-supermale claim was propagated by The New York Times and other mainstream media, enshrined in biology and social science textbooks, and even written into plots for films, novels and television shows (as Wikipedia‘s excellent entry on XYY syndrome documents). Meanwhile, follow-up studies of noninstitutionalized XYY men failed to corroborate the initial claims. In a 1993 report “Understanding and Preventing Violence” the National Academy of Sciences concluded that there is no correlation between the XYY syndrome and violent behavior. In 2007 CSI: Miami nonetheless broadcast a show, titled “Born to Kill,” which featured a serial killer with an extra Y chromosome.
Unlike, say, multiverse theories, unsubstantiated claims about human genetics can have real-world consequences. Racists have seized on warrior gene research as evidence that blacks are innately more violent than whites. In 2010 defense attorneys for Bradley Waldroup, a Tennessee man who in a drunken rage hacked and shot a woman to death, urged a jury to show him mercy because he carried the warrior gene. According to National Public Radio, the jury bought this “scientific” argument, convicting Waldroup of manslaughter rather than murder. A prosecutor called the “warrior gene” testimony “smoke and mirrors.” He was right.
Photo of Mel Gibson in the film Braveheart courtesy of Wiki Commons
Genetic testing to answer your genealogy questions
IN SPORTS OR BUSINESS, HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO STRESS? IS THE ANSWER IN YOUR GENES?
00 Monoamine Oxidase A (Warrior Gene)
Human behavior is complex and influenced by our genes, our environment, and our
circumstances. One of the most provocative and often controversial of genetic variants
has been dubbed the “Warrior Gene.”
Located on the X-chromosome, the MAOA gene is one of many genes that play a part
in our behavioral responses. The “Warrior Gene” variant reduces function in the
Studies have linked the “Warrior Gene” to increased risk-taking and to retaliatory
behavior. Men with the “Warrior Gene” are not necessarily more aggressive, but they
are more likely to respond aggressively to perceived conflict.
Because men have one copy of the X-chromosome, a variant that reduces the function
of this gene has more of an influence on them. Women, having two X-chromosomes,
are more likely to have at least one normally functioning gene copy, and variants
in women have not been studied as extensively.
This test is now available for both men and women.
Sabol et al, 1998 contains additional
details about the “Warrior Gene” variant.
Note: Among the many advances and discoveries of modern DNA and
genetics are ‘scientific’ oddities. These genetic wonders make it into popular culture
and develop a life there that far outpaces their academic worth. These factoids
are best used as ‘cocktail conversation’ starters. We present them to our customers
as just that.
The Warrior Gene: 5 Common Myths Debunked
Much has been written about the so called “warrior gene” MAOA, also sometimes not as diplomatically referred to as the “Psycho” gene. 1
We all carry this gene but certain mutations have been linked to an increased risk of violence, especially when there has been abuse in early life which seems to act as the trigger that turns on the dormant predisposition to violence in some men. 2
First made famous by the story of a Dutch family with a history of violence, a court in Italy made headlines when it commuted the sentence of a violent criminal after it was found that he carried the variant of MAOA associated with aggression. 3
Monoamine oxidase (MAO-A) – the “Warrior Gene”
The MAOA gene codes for an enzyme named Monoamine oxidase. Monoamine oxidase breaks down neurotransmitters such as noradrenaline, adrenaline, serotonin and dopamine, and as such, plays an important role in regulating mood.
MAOA in men vs. women
Located on the X chromosome women can be heterozygous or homozygous for MAOA (as women have two X chromosomes), whereas men only carry one copy (as they have one X and one Y sex chromosome) and are therefore hemizygous.
The Genetics of
MAOA is interesting as changes in its activity don’t relate to individual SNPs, rather they are driven by changes in its promoter region. All genes have a promoter region, which sit upstream in the DNA sequence and this is the location where polymerase proteins bind and begin to read through the gene.
Within the promoter of MAOA is a region of DNA known as a variable number tandem repeat or VNTR. VNTRs are small sequences of DNA which can be repeated a variety of times, which gives rise to the 2R or 3R terminology you may have seen around MAOA. 2R means that there are two repeat sequences in the VNTR, 3R three repeat sequences and so on. This is important as the number of repeats has a big impact on how well MAOA is “read” by the polymerase protein. When the gene is not read as efficiently not as much MAO-A is produced meaning the breakdown of neurotransmitters is also reduced. 4 It is this lack of MAO-A enzyme activity which is thought to lead to increased aggressive behavior. 5
I’ve summarized the common repeats below and how they impact on the efficiency of MAOA reading and thus MAO-A activity. 3.5R and 4R variants are thought of as normal, with 2R variants having the most reduced function and 3R and 5R variants sitting between. As such the 2R, 3R and 5R types are sometimes referred to as MAOA-L meaning low activity. 67
|VNTR Number (R)||MAO-A Activity||Risk of aggressive behaviour|
The number of repeats within the MAOA VNTR has a big impact on transcription efficiency and subsequently MAO-A activity.89
What effect do changes in
MAOA VNTR have on aggressiveness?
Low activity of MAO-A is thought to drive increased aggressiveness. But if you look at the table above you can see the 3R form of MAOA is actually very common. I don’t know about you but upwards of 30% of the population being overly aggressive sounds very high.
So let’s look at the data; the 2R, 3R and 5R variants which show reduced MAO-A enzyme activity have been linked with increased aggressiveness in a variety of studies. 1011 So far the hypothesis seems to be holding together.
But! all these reports come with a very large caveat. Whilst they do show that the MAOA-L forms are associated with increased aggression, having an MAOA-L form does not mean that someone will be aggressive, there are numerous other factors associated, with the most important thought to be early life abuse. 12
Simply put, whilst some people with the 2R, 3R and 5R variants were more aggressive, there were lots of people who also had these variants who weren’t more aggressive. The associations only appeared when a large enough population was studied, and this suggests that there are lots of other factors which are also influencing how aggressive we are, not just MAOA. Some studies have failed to find a link between MAOA and aggression. 13
How to find out if you carry the warrior gene
The final important question is can you find out what form of MAOA you have using genetic tests like 23andMe? Well as mentioned above, alterations in MAOA function are to do with changes in the number of repeats in the VNTR, this can be detected by sequencing your genome. 23andMe doesn’t sequence your entire genome, rather they look at key points of interest in your genome. The reason for this is cost and time, whilst getting cheaper and faster all the time, the cost to sequence your entire genome is still out of the reach of most consumers.
But, there are some things you can look at. Linkage disequilibrium is the complicated sounding term which is used when two separate regions of the genome are associated with each other more or less often than would be expected by chance. Say we’re interested in allele A; we know allele A is in linkage disequilibrium with allele B but we aren’t able to detect allele A. But if we were able to detect allele B we could then assume that allele A was also present.
Interestingly there are several SNPS which are in linkage disequilibrium with the different forms of MAOA. I’ve detailed these in the table below, if you have the risk allele for one of the linked SNPs then you are likely to have the associated VNTR, but this is not definite, the only way to know for sure would be to directly analyze your MAOA gene.
So for example those with the rs909525 ‘C’ allele are likely to have 3 repeats within the MAOA VNTR (3R).1415 Importantly, the proxy for 5R requires that you have all three of the risk alleles below rs909525 ‘C’, rs3027399 ‘G’ and rs6323 ‘T’. There currently isn’t a proxy SNP available for the 2R form although this is very rare.
Common myths about the Warrior Gene
Myth 1: The
MAOA “warrior gene” is rare
Fact: We all carry the MAOA gene, just some of us have a form which may be linked with aggression. The alleles connected with aggression are carried by approximately 33% of the population, so if it’s just the MAOA genetic variant that makes us “warriors,” then there are lots of warriors running around out there.
But trying to explain behaviour based on a single gene is a tricky business, as there are many other environmental and physiological factors that define who we are. So let’s have a look and see if the science stacks up, and see if we can bust some additional myths at the same time.
Myth 2: Men can be heterozygous for MAOA
Fact: Men only have one X chromosome, so can only have one copy of the MAOA gene
Myth 3: The aggressiveness associated with the “warrior gene” is caused by SNPs
Fact: Changes in MAOA function are actually linked to alterations in the VNTR located in the promoter region.
Myth 4: Having less active MAO-A
will make you more aggressive
Fact: Having less active MAO-A may make you more aggressive, but there are many other factors that also influence this.
It is very desirable to paint a simple picture, but understanding how genetics and behavior interact is very, very complicated, and unpicking the contribution of MAOA-L to increased aggression is very difficult, which I’ve summarised in the image below.
Understanding the contribution of MAOA-L to increased aggression is difficult, as many other factors play important role. Whilst option a) may be most desirable to us as an easy to understand relationship b) is actually more accurate.
Myth 5: Consumer genotyping like 23andMe can tell me my MAOA status
Fact: There are some SNPs that associate with certain MAOA forms, but the only way to know for sure is to directly analyze MAOA.
|SNP ID||Major allele/Minor allele (Risk)||Risk allele “Warrior”?||% of population with risk allele|
|rs909525||T/C||Y (3R, 5R*)||43%|
The SNPs above are in linkage disequilibrium with the marked MAOA VNTR, so if you carry the risk allele you are likely to also carry the associated VNTR. 1617 *In linkage disequilibrium only when all three risk alleles are present.
To sum everything up the interaction between genetics and behavior is very, very complex to put it mildly. Whilst it is very easy to make bold statements such as “low MAO-A activity leads to increased aggressiveness”, a modern day of equivalent “of a pill for every ill”the reality is much less clear.
Whilst there is definitely an association with the 2R, 3R and 5R forms of MAOA and increased aggression, the actual contribution of MAOA is unknown, but most likely low.18
If you’re interested in understanding your MAOA status the SNPs described above can act as a good proxy, but for true accuracy you would have to get your MAOA gene sequenced.
See also: Meet your B vitamins and the science of MTHFR explained
2,500-year-old DNA Confirms Existence of Amazon Warrior Women
In 1988, archaeologists from the RAS Institute for the History of Material Culture discovered a unique Scythian burial mound dating from the seventh century B. C. In one of the coffins, they found what was long believed to be the mummified remains of a teenage warrior boy buried with his weapons. According to cutting-edge DNA analysis reported in Stratum Plus by researchers from the Historical Genetics Lab at MIPT, the body actually belongs to a female, confirming Herodotus’ 2,500-year-old accounts of the Amazons, previously considered mythical.
The Scythians were an ancient warlike people living as nomads from the eighth century B.C. to the fourth century A.D. in the steppes between the lower Don and Danube. Most of what we know about Scythians comes from the ancient Greek reports of Herodotus, Hippocrates, and Pliny the Elder. Many Greek myths, including the accounts of Herodotus, mention a western tribe of warrior women living on the shores of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. However, until recently there was no confirmation of a similar phenomenon among the Scythians of Siberia.
The Saryg-Bulun burial site was discovered in 1988 during archaeological excavations off the right bank of the upper Yenisei, in the present-day Tuva Republic of Russia. Among those interred was a child aged between 12 and 14 years old, buried with full combat gear: a bow and arrows, and an ax. The favorable isolated environment resulted in the preservation of the organic material in the mummy of the assumed Scythian boy.
Traditionally, archaeologists working with ancient human remains infer sex from anatomical features and indirect clues, which are not always reliable. For example, the pelvic structure of men and women differs, though not as much in children. Or there might be some symbolic implements in the grave — a mirror or a spear, perhaps. Ironically, relying on such items for sex determination may make us even more gender-biased than our forebears from 2,500 years ago.
Archaeologists have come to this realization on multiple occasions since advanced genetic analysis techniques became available several years ago. As a result, it is becoming increasingly common to complement historical analysis with DNA assays, which have emerged as the standard procedure for sex determination making up for the potential deficiencies of the conventional approaches in archaeology.
To make use of these advanced tools, the archaeologists who originally unearthed the teenage warrior of Tuva over 30 years ago enlisted the help of researchers from the Historical Genetics Lab at MIPT, which is among the few laboratories worldwide capable of performing an ancient DNA analysis of such complexity.
“We were invited to investigate the paternal ancestry of the young warrior. And I have to say, we gave it our best. If only you’d seen how anxious it made us when at first things didn’t work out,” said Kharis Mustafin, the head of the MIPT Historical Genetics Lab. “When we examined the DNA fragments, we saw both short and long loci, but no loci associated with the Y chromosome. This led us to hypothesize that it might not be a male but rather a young woman buried in such a peculiar way. After a series of meticulous and detailed analyses that we performed using other techniques, we were able to establish that the remains indeed belonged to a young girl, apparently brought up as a warrior.”
Three teeth and a skin fragment were made available to the researchers for genetic analysis. Following purification, the samples were ground into bone powder to extract DNA from. To determine the buried person’s sex, the team performed a quantitative and qualitative DNA assay and analyzed an amelogenin gene via a molecular biology method known as polymerase chain reaction, which amplifies the initially low concentration of certain DNA fragments in the sample.
Since the study’s publication, the team has made more progress analyzing the ancient warrior’s genetic material. In an upcoming paper, pending peer review, the group led by Mustafin will report its findings concerning the maternal ancestry of the girl. There is also a larger-scale study in the makings, where the geneticists are again teaming up with their collaborators from the Institute for the History of Material Culture, who have retrieved about 70 new samples for DNA analysis dating from different epochs at a site not far from where the Tuvan Amazon was found.
Prior to their study of the Tuvan warrioress, the laboratory’s team focused on genetic research into the medieval population of present-day Russia. The series of ongoing studies of Scythians marks a transition into the realm of truly ancient DNA analysis, with some of the samples dating back to 4,000 years ago. The findings offer a new look at the life and culture of Scythian tribes, as well as providing broader insights into the humanity’s past.
Republished courtesy of MIPT. Photo: A hollowed-out log containing the corpse of a young individual who turned out to be a Scythian warrior girl interred with her combat gear, shown on the right: a bow, quiver, arrows, arrowheads, and an ax. Credit: Marina Kilunovskaya et al./Stratum Plus
‘Warrior Gene’ Predicts Aggressive Behavior After Provocation — ScienceDaily
Individuals with the so-called “warrior gene” display higher levels of aggression in response to provocation, according to new research co-authored by Rose McDermott, professor of political science at Brown University. In the experiment, which is the first to examine a behavioral measure of aggression in response to provocation, subjects were asked to cause physical pain to an opponent they believed had taken money from them by administering varying amounts of hot sauce.
The findings are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In addition to McDermott, the research team included Dustin Tingley of Princeton University, Jonathan Cowden of the University of California–Santa Barbara, Giovanni Frazetto from the London School of Economics, and Dominic Johnson from the University of Edinburgh. Their experiment synthesized work in psychology and behavioral economics.
Monoamine oxidase A is an enzyme that breaks down important neurotransmitters in the brain, including dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. The enzyme is regulated by monoamine oxidase A gene (MAOA). Humans have various forms of the gene, resulting in different levels of enzymatic activity. People with the low-activity form (MAOA-L) produce less of the enzyme, while the high-activity form (MAOA-H) produces more of the enzyme.
Several studies have found a correlation between the low-activity form of MAOA and aggression in observational and survey-based studies. Only about a third of people in Western populations have the low-activity form of MAOA. By comparison, low-activity MAOA has been reported to be much more frequent (approaching two-thirds of people) in some populations that had a history of warfare. This led to a controversy over MAOA being dubbed the “warrior gene.”
The PNAS paper is the first experimental test of whether MAOA-L individuals display higher levels of actual behavioral aggression in response to provocation. A total of 78 subjects took part in the experiment over networked computers (all were male students from the University of California–Santa Barbara). Each subject (A) first performed a vocabulary task in which they earned money. Then they were told that an anonymous partner (B), linked over the network, could choose to take some of their earnings away from them. The original subject (A) could then choose to punish the taker (B) by forcing them to eat unpleasantly hot (spicy) sauce — but they had to pay to do so, so administering punishment was costly. In reality, the “partner” who took money away was a computer, which allowed the researchers to control responses. No one actually ingested hot sauce.
Their results demonstrate that
- Low-activity MAOA subjects displayed slightly higher levels of aggression overall than high-activity MAOA subjects.
- There was strong evidence for a gene-by-environment interaction, such that MAOA is less associated with the occurrence of aggression in the low-provocation condition (when the amount of money taken was low), but significantly predicted aggression in a high-provocation situation (when the amount of money taken was high).
The results support previous research suggesting that MAOA influences aggressive behavior, with potentially important implications for interpersonal aggression, violence, political decision-making, and crime. The finding of genetic influences on aggression and punishment behavior also questions the recently proposed idea that humans are “altruistic” punishers, who willingly punish free-riders for the good of the group. These results support theories of cooperation that propose there are mixed strategies in the population. Some people may punish more than others, and there may be an underlying evolutionary logic for doing so.
Materials provided by Brown University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
DNA Analysis Reveals History of Ancient Warriors
In 1962, an Alemannic burial site containing human skeletal remains was discovered in Niederstotzingen (Baden-Württemberg, Germany). Researchers at the Eurac Research Centre in Bozen-Bolzano, Italy, and at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, have now examined the DNA of these skeletal remains.
This has enabled them to determine not only the sex and the degree of kinship of those people but also their ancestral origins, which provides new insights into societal structures in the Early Middle Ages. The results of this study demonstrate that genetic research can complement research made by archaeologists and anthropologists through more conventional methods. The research was featured on the front cover of the renowned academic journal Science Advances.
Archaeologists recovered thirteen human skeletons, the remains of three horses and some excellently preserved grave goods of diverse origin. This burial, which was discovered near a Roman road not far from Ulm, is considered one of the most important Alemannic gravesites in Germany. The site consists of individual and multiple graves, from which it was hypothesised that the individuals had not all been buried at the same time. The molecular genetic investigations have now brought new details to light about the individuals and their final resting place in this high-ranking warrior type burial.
Using DNA analysis the researchers were able to reconstruct maternal as well as paternal kinship. On the basis of tooth samples the scientists could ascertain that five of the individuals were either first- or second-degree relatives. In addition, the deceased displayed a variety of patterns of genetic origin, indicating Mediterranean and northern European roots. “These results prove the existence of remarkable transregional contacts. The fact that they were buried together also indicates a link between the families and their entourage which went beyond death,” explains Niall O’Sullivan, who did his doctorate at Eurac Research and carried out some of the analyses at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena.
In this context the grave goods, with which the multiple graves were adorned and which are of Frankish, Lombard and Byzantine origin, are also very interesting. Their diverse origin in combination with the new genetic data indicates a cultural openness and demonstrates how members of the same family were receptive to different cultures.
Comb with etui found at the burial site. Credit: Landesmuseum Württemberg, P. Frankenstein / H.Zwietasch
In addition to the kinship analysis the researchers also determined the sex of the individuals using molecular testing. One of the skeletons had a gracile physique and thus could not be clearly classified as male or female. “Anthropologists determine the sex of skeletal remains by using specific physical sexual characteristics, but if the bones of certain body areas are missing, then this will make gender determination much more difficult. DNA-analyses open new paths in this respect – and in this specific case we were able to identify the young individual molecularly as a male, and thus exclude the possibility that we were dealing with an early medieval female warrior,” explains Frank Maixner, microbiologist at the Institute for Mummies and the Iceman at Eurac Research.
The considerable advances which have been made in molecular genetics in recent years allow thus far unanswered questions to be raised again and for historical as well as archaeological findings to be added to. “This research into the burial site at Niederstotzingen is a textbook example of how we can support archaeologists and anthropologists with new methods, in order to delve deeper into unanswered questions in a regional context,” says Maixner in conclusion.
This article has been republished from materials provided by Eurac Research and Landesamt für Denkmalpflege im RP Stuttgart. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.
Reference: O’Sullivan, N., Posth, C., Coia, V., Schuenemann, V. J., Price, T. D., Wahl, J., … Maixner, F. (2018). Ancient genome-wide analyses infer kinship structure in an Early Medieval Alemannic graveyard. Science Advances, 4(9), eaao1262. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aao1262
The Remains Of A Warrior Found In Finland May Have Had Klinefelter Syndrome : NPR
A reconstruction drawing of the Suontaka grave from 1,000 years ago and that is now thought to be the final resting place of a nonbinary warrior.
Veronika Paschenko/University of Turku
Veronika Paschenko/University of Turku
A reconstruction drawing of the Suontaka grave from 1,000 years ago and that is now thought to be the final resting place of a nonbinary warrior.
Veronika Paschenko/University of Turku
Analysis of ancient DNA found in Finland has unveiled a surprise a century later – the remains of an early medieval warrior thought to be female may have been nonbinary.
The new findings challenge previous ideas about gender roles and expression and suggest that nonbinary people were valued and respected members of their communities, researchers concluded in their study, published in the peer-reviewed European Journal of Archaeology.
The findings are a reminder that “biology does not directly dictate a person’s self-identity,” said Ulla Moilanen, the study’s lead author and an archaeologist at Finland’s University of Turku.
Archaeologists first discovered the grave in 1968. Located in Suontaka Vesitorninmäki, southern Finland, the remains were buried alongside a sword and jewelry such as brooches and found in fragments of woolen clothes — which were “a typical feminine costume of the era,” the researchers said.
But the use of DNA analysis decades later found chromosomes that didn’t match what’s expected for males or females. The researchers — based in Finland and Germany — concluded that the buried person likely had Klinefelter syndrome and was anatomically male.
Females are typically born with two X chromosomes (XX) and males are born with one X and one Y chromosome (XY). Males born with Klinefelter syndrome are born with an extra X chromosome (XXY), according to the United Kingdom’s National Health Service.
The syndrome affects about 1 in 660 males. Those with Klinefelter may have low levels of testosterone, a smaller penis, undescended testes, enlarged breasts and infertility. Many people aren’t diagnosed until they are older and test their fertility levels; others are never diagnosed.
In their findings, the researchers noted that the remains were “badly damaged” and that they only had a small sample to test. But through the use of modeling, they said they “found overwhelming evidence that the genetic data of the Suontaka individual most closely resemble an XXY karyotype.”
The honorable way the warrior was buried led researchers to conclude that the remains were of “a respected person whose gender identity may well have been non-binary.”
“If the characteristics of the Klinefelter syndrome have been evident on the person, they might not have been considered strictly a female or a male in the Early Middle Ages community,” Moilanen said. “The abundant collection of objects buried in the grave is proof that the person was not only accepted but also valued and respected.”
The new research indicates that even in an “ultra-masculine environment of early medieval Scandinavia” where men with “feminine social roles and [who] dressed in feminine clothing were disrespected and considered shameful,” there may have been individuals who did not fit gender norms and were still admired, the researchers concluded.
Although the researchers use the term nonbinary in their study, it’s complicated. People choose whether to identify as nonbinary, and it’s not known how this ancient person identified. Also, many people with Klinefelter syndrome, which is one of the chromosomal patters under the umbrella term intersex, do not consider themselves nonbinary.
Other archaeologists and historians not involved in these new findings told Livescience they found the work exciting, as it calls attention to conversations surrounding gender, bodies and identity.
“It is a well-researched study of an interesting burial,” said Leszek Gardela, a researcher at the National Museum of Denmark. “It demonstrates that early medieval societies had very nuanced approaches to and understandings of gender identities.”
90,000 Warrior Gene. Macedonian, after all, must be born
Information about the existence of a certain “war gene” was published in 2002. Although, in fact, it was discovered much earlier – in 1993 by the Dutch geneticist Hans Brunner. Moreover, it happened completely unexpectedly: the scientist was approached by a group of women whose husbands were overly aggressive and even abused assault. Brunner did extensive research and found that all of these men had a mutated, truncated gene for monoamine oxidase (MAOA) in their DNA.It was he who turned out to be the cause of excessive irascibility. The scientist affectionately called it “war genome” , although in different sources one can find “aggression gene “, and “leader gene” , and “criminal gene” , and other variations.
There are different types of warrior gene, which differ in the number of repetitions in the sequence. There are 2R (two repeats), 3R, 3.5R, 4R, and 5R variants. Repetitions 3 and 4 are more common among Europeans. The two-rep option is usually dormant and is only activated when experiencing childhood abuse.3.5R and 4R variants are more active than 3R and 5R.
Research has found ample evidence that the warrior gene is associated with cruelty, aggression, and antisocial behavior. This gene is directly linked to the hormones dopamine and serotonin, and in different combinations with them can have different effects. By the way, this gene was found only in men. So, on the basis of which genes the Amazons acted remains a mystery.
Geneticist Jari Tiihonen argues that the MAO gene is the main regulator of dopamine, which serves as an important part of the brain’s “reward” system, as it induces a sense of satisfaction, which affects the processes of motivation.But its modification, MAOA, is responsible for disruptions in the development of a “natural motivator”, and therefore has already received the name “aggression gene”. Usually the gene is in a state of sleep, but is quickly activated, for example, in the event of a provocation.
As you know, most crimes are committed while intoxicated. In this case, alcohol acts as a provocateur.
The “warrior gene” can also be activated in childhood, if the child observes scenes of violence or becomes a participant in them.Scientists have concluded that during periods of war, for example, an entire generation may appear with an activated “gene of aggression.”
American forensic scientist Kevin Beaver conducted research that showed that those with the “warrior gene” were twice as likely to join street gangs. In the course of observations of the gangs themselves, it was found that carriers of the gene are four times more likely to resort to weapons in fights. Also, American studies have revealed that the overwhelming majority of prison inmates have a “warrior gene”.
Manifestation of the aggression gene and how to curb it
“Gene war”, in fact, may not make itself felt throughout a person’s life, or it may wake up in the womb. An excess of serotonin, the hormone of happiness that is responsible for mood, sexual desire, learning ability, and social behavior, can provoke awakening. An overabundance of the hormone can, in particular, lead to drug use, as well as the simultaneous use of several drugs that can affect serotonin levels (for example, antidepressants).If the expectant mother has an excess of serotonin, then the fetal brain activates the “aggression gene”.
By the way, scientists have found an explanation for why the genome is mainly possessed by men. The “warrior gene” is found on the mother’s X chromosome. Daughters, in addition to the maternal one, receive a second X chromosome from the father. Because of this, the effect of the gene is, as it were, leveled. As for the boys, they do not receive the second X chromosome, therefore they are potentially more aggressive.
The most important role is played by the social environment in which a person grew up and lives.A dysfunctional family, crime, bad company, and, according to research, alcohol abuse and drug addiction increase the influence of the aggressor gene. So, in 2006, a resident of Tennessee Bradley Waldrop was acquitted of the murder of his friend and ex-wife. The reason – the “warrior gene” was found in the defendant in conjunction with Waldrop’s difficult childhood and his alcoholic intoxication on the day of the murder !!! By the way, according to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, alcohol intoxication, on the contrary, is an aggravating circumstance.
The “warrior gene” can influence human behavior. But this does not mean that its carrier is a potential murderer or bandit. Nature can only be defeated by culture and norms of behavior set by society: carriers of the “warrior gene” are found among Buddhist monks and among the peaceful nomadic tribes in Morocco. According to research carried out by a professor at Moscow State University, psychogenetics M. Egorova, the “warrior gene” will be able to work for the good: its carriers, possessing self-control, will be distinguished by sensitivity and patience.Animal studies have shown that males surrounded by maternal love during childhood did not exhibit the war gene as adults.
How to find the “warrior gene” in yourself
Analyze your usual behavior. If you are annoyed and nervous by unpleasant little things, but at the same time, you can remain cool in a stressful or extreme situation – you are most likely the owner of the “warrior gene”, and it has an impact on your character.
The carriers of this gene are 59% of black people, 54% of Chinese, 56% of Maori (indigenous people of New Zealand), and 34% of Europeans. The gene is most often found in peoples who have always led a warlike and aggressive lifestyle.
According to scientists, this gene is most often found in representatives of peoples in whose cultures aggression takes pride of place.
Depending on social conditions, self-control and intelligence, the “aggression gene” can make a person a hero or a monster.
War gene detection test
Of course, it is possible to reliably determine the presence of any gene only by a DNA test in the laboratory. But, we want to offer you a psychological test developed by the scientist – K. Levitin. It will help determine the likelihood that you have a “war gene”.
For each question, you can give one of five answers, each of which is evaluated by a certain point.
– “yes” – 5 points;
– “rather yes than no” – 4 points;
– “I find it difficult to answer” – 3 points;
– “more likely no than yes” – 2 points;
– “definitely not” – 1 point.
1. Could you exceed the speed limit in a car to save the life of another person (for example, when transporting a wounded person)?
2. Could you try to stop the fleeing pickpocket?
3. Would you dare to ride on the steps of a train carriage that moves at a speed of about 100 km / h?
4. Would you dare to be the first to cross an icy, turbulent river (for example, during a hiking trip)?
5.Would you dare to enter a cage with a lion, provided there was a trainer and security guarantees?
6. Would you dare to try to sail a sailboat without certain skills?
7. Could you climb the tall chimney of the plant if you had a manager?
8. Would you risk stopping a galloping horse by pulling it by the bridle?
9. Would you take a trip with a friend who just recently suffered a serious car accident (assuming he was driving)?
ten.Would you dare to jump from a 10-meter height onto a stretched firefighters tent?
11. Could you go for a dangerous operation in case of a serious illness with bed rest, provided that the probability of getting rid of the disease is 50-50?
12. Would you dare to be the seventh in an elevator designed for only six people?
13. Would you tackle the high-voltage wire if the boss assures that there is no voltage?
14. After one lesson, would you decide to fly a helicopter?
If the number of points is from 60 and above, then your propensity to take risks is very high, which means that you are most likely a carrier of the “war gene”.Be careful with him.
If the result is from 30 to 60, you may have a “war gene” and you have learned to control it, or you do not have such a gene, but nevertheless, sometimes you can go on an adventure if the risk is justified.
If 25 and below, then you are a cautious person, not inclined to crazy adventures. You either do not have a “war gene”, or he is deeply asleep.
Summing up , I would like to note that only a DNA test can determine with a 100% probability the presence of this or that gene or mutations in a gene.But, even if you have a “war gene” – this is not a sentence at all, but rather a reason to think …
90,000 DNA Analysis Helps Uncover 1,000 Years of Viking Mystery – Rossiyskaya Gazeta
An interdisciplinary team of scientists analyzed DNA recovered from the remains of many Vikings and established that two of them were related. These people died about 1000 years ago in different parts of Europe.
As reported by Phys.org, we are talking about the remains that are now stored in the National Museum of Denmark. Previously, no one could have imagined that these men were relatives. The study literally helped reestablish family ties after a whole millennium.
The fact is that one of the Vikings died in England at the age of about 20 years. He was buried in a mass grave in the city of Oxford. By the way, it was from Oxford that his remains were temporarily transported to Denmark to conduct research. It was established that this warrior died in the 11th century from head injuries.
Another died in Denmark. At the time of his death, he was already over 50. His bones bear traces of numerous blows, which suggests that he was an experienced warrior who, during his long life, at that time, took part in many battles.
Scientists managed to establish the relationship of these people almost by accident. They performed DNA mapping of the skeletons of the Viking Age from the 8th to the 12th century. In total, the remains of about 150 people were examined, found in different places. The goal was to trace the path of the Vikings across Europe.
During the analysis, archaeologists accidentally determined that the Vikings who died in England and Denmark came from the same family. It so happened that they were separated for 1000 years, and now they are reunited within the walls of the National Museum of Denmark.
“This is a great discovery because we can now track the movement of Vikings through space and time through the lens of family ties,” says museum archaeologist Jeanette Varberg.
Danish Vikings are known to have periodically invaded Scotland and England since the late 8th century.Researchers speculate that the younger of the two identified men may have been killed during one of these raids.
This is indicated by the fact that his remains were found in a mass grave. At the same time, scientists refer to the decree of the English king Ethelred II, who commanded the British troops in 1002. This decree stated that all Danes in England should be killed.
Let us add that scientists have not yet been able to establish the degree of kinship between the two Vikings. It could be either stepbrothers, or a grandfather with a grandson, or an uncle with a nephew.90 012 90 000 Warrior in a mysterious medieval burial turned out to be a non-binary person – Gazeta.Ru
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A team of Finnish researchers concluded that a person with a non-binary gender identity may be buried in a burial dating from the medieval period. This is reported by the scientific portal ScienceNews .
An unusual war grave was discovered by archaeologists in the town of Suontaka in southern Finland back in 1968.Scientists were surprised that the deceased, next to whom lay a weapon typical of military graves of that time, had women’s jewelry.
Only now, thanks to the development of genetic technologies, it has been possible to shed a little light on who the warrior buried in Suontaka was. Based on the analysis of DNA extracted from a fragment of the warrior’s bone, it was determined that he had an additional X chromosome. This may indicate that the deceased had Klinefelter’s syndrome, a rare male genetic disorder characterized by low testosterone levels, lack of hairline, gynecomastia (male breast enlargement) and learning difficulties.
“This burial has an unusual and pronounced combination of male and female symbolism, which may indicate that the deceased was not associated with any of the traditional genders, but with something else,” said archaeologist Ulla Moilainen from the University of Turku.
Although how the Swontak warrior was perceived by the public remains unknown, a more in-depth study of the burial could add a little clarity to this mystery. The warrior was buried in women’s clothing next to brooches and bird feathers, which is typical for a female burial rite.However, a toothless sword was also placed in the burial. After some time, a bronze sword with a carved handle was also placed in the grave, which may indicate the posthumous respect of society for the deceased and his high social status.
Earlier, British archaeologists suggested that the golden mask of Tutankhamun could originally belong to a woman because of the earrings on her.
90,000 The riddle of the Amazons. Ancient male warriors were actually women
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Riddle of the Amazons. Ancient male warriors actually turned out to be women
Riddle of the Amazons. Ancient male warriors actually turned out to be women Ancient male warriors actually turned out to be women
Decoding of the genomes of several ancient warriors, whose remains were found by scientists in different parts of the globe, showed that they were women. And if the evidence of the brave RIA Novosti, 12.07.2020
Russian Academy of Sciences
Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology
discoveries – ria science
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MOSCOW, July 12 – RIA Novosti, Alfiya Enikeeva. Deciphering the genomes of several ancient warriors, whose remains were found by scientists in different parts of the globe, showed that they were women. And if evidence of brave warriors among the Vikings has already been met, then the genetic and archaeological data obtained after the analysis of Scythian burials give a new impetus to the debate about the reality of the legendary Amazons.Having studied the ancient burial mounds in the Volga and Azov regions, they assumed that about a third of the soldiers are actually women. The fact is that then the sex of the buried was often determined by the things found next to them. If there were many weapons in the burial, it was believed that this was the grave of a man. Ornaments and mirrors, on the other hand, testified to a female burial. However, researchers, based on the analysis of skeletons, argued that some of them may be female. By 1991, there were already about 120 such female graves with weapons – mainly in the territory where European Scythians lived.The age of the buried was determined – from 16 to 30 years. Myths come to life Almost three decades later, DNA analysis and new research methods showed that Soviet specialists were right. So, in 2017, Armenian scientists, studying the burial of a twenty-year-old Scythian girl, dating from the 8th-6th centuries BC, found that she died from a combat wound – most likely, during the battle she was shot in the leg. And the features of the bones of a young Scythian woman indicated that she spent a lot of time in the saddle. Experts from the Institute of Archeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, who studied a Scythian mound of the 4th century BC, discovered in 2019 in the Voronezh region, came to similar conclusions.The details of the burial indicated that the four women buried there, aged 12 to 50, belonged to the military class. Next to the head of the eldest of them lay a knife, wrapped in cloth, and an arrowhead with a forked end. This, together with numerous details of weapons and horse harness, indicated that during their lifetime the craft of the Scythians was service. It is believed that in the Iranian-speaking nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes of Eastern Europe, they guarded livestock, property and homes when men went on long military campaigns.According to the head of the expedition, Valery Gulyaev, the Amazons are a common Scythian phenomenon. For them, separate mounds were poured and funeral rites were performed, which were usually performed when burying men. Was there a boy? At the same time, a team of researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology was working on deciphering the genome of a Scythian young warrior who lived about 2,600 years ago. Scientists found his remains in a wooden sarcophagus back in 1988 in the Republic of Tyva. The burial did not contain any typically feminine things like mirrors, but an ax, bow and arrows were found.Based on this, the scientists then decided that in front of them was the grave of a young man. Now, DNA analysis has turned the ancient youth into a teenage girl no older than 14 years old. She was dressed in a shirt and trousers, with a long fur coat on top, probably made from the skins of a rodent belonging to the jerboa family. “Thanks to the data obtained, we can assume that among the Scythians, girls took part in hunting and military campaigns on an equal basis with boys,” the authors of the work note. A Viking turns into a woman Similarly, three years ago, Swedish scientists discovered that a Viking who lived in the 10th century and was considered a man for more than a hundred years is actually a woman.The grave was found at the end of the nineteenth century in the south-east of Sweden in the town of Birka. Discovered artifacts indicated that the deceased was not just a professional warrior, but, most likely, a high-ranking officer. So, in addition to weapons – a battle ax, a knife, a spear and armor-piercing arrows – next to it lay a set for a checker-type board game. Everyone who sat down to play had to be able to develop a strategy and tactics for a duel. However, a few years ago, a group of scientists, after carefully examining the skeleton, suggested that the found Viking could be a woman.But their conclusion remained in question, since nothing was previously known about the female warriors. And now specialists from Stockholm University have managed to extract nuclear DNA from the tooth and left humerus and analyzed it. In both samples, there was no Y-chromosome, which determines the male sex, but a second X-chromosome was found, which allows us to confidently assert: a high-ranking warrior is a woman. According to the results of isotope analysis – scientists have determined the ratio of stable isotopes of strontium in the teeth of the deceased – she was not born in Birka.She was probably brought to this city as a child.
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Sweden, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, discoveries – RIA Science, DNA, Genome, Eastern Europe, Volga Region
MOSCOW, July 12 – RIA News, Alfiya Enikeeva. Deciphering the genomes of several ancient warriors, whose remains were found by scientists in different parts of the globe, showed that they were women. And if evidence of brave warriors among the Vikings has already been met, then genetic and archaeological data obtained after the analysis of Scythian burials give a new impetus to the debate about the reality of the legendary Amazons.
Secrets of ancient burial mounds
For the first time, Soviet scientists started talking about professional warriors among the Scythians in the 1980s.Having studied the ancient burial mounds in the Volga and Azov regions, they assumed that about a third of the soldiers are actually women.
The fact is that at that time the sex of the buried was often determined by the things found next to them. If there were many weapons in the burial, it was believed that this was the grave of a man. Ornaments and mirrors, on the other hand, testified to a female burial. However, the researchers, based on the analysis of skeletons, argued that some of them may be female.
By 1991, there were already about 120 such female graves with weapons – mainly in the territory where the European Scythians lived.The age of the buried was determined – from 16 to 30 years.
December 7, 2019, 08:00 Science Cool ancestors. Scientists have shown the faces of “Amazons” and “witches”
Myths come to life
Almost three decades later, DNA analysis and new research methods showed that Soviet experts were right. So, in 2017, Armenian scientists, studying the burial of a twenty-year-old Scythian girl, dating from the 8th-6th centuries BC, found that she died from a combat wound – most likely, during the battle she was shot in the leg.And the features of the bones of a young Scythian woman indicated that she spent a lot of time in the saddle. Experts from the Institute of Archeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, who studied a Scythian mound of the 4th century BC, discovered in 2019 in the Voronezh region, came to similar conclusions. The details of the burial indicated that the four women buried there, aged 12 to 50, belonged to the military class. Next to the head of the eldest of them lay a knife, wrapped in cloth, and an arrowhead with a forked end.This, together with numerous details of weapons and horse harness, indicated that during their lifetime the craft of the Scythians was service. It is believed that in the Iranian-speaking nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes of Eastern Europe, they guarded livestock, property and homes when men went on long military campaigns. According to the head of the expedition, Valery Gulyaev, Amazons are a common Scythian phenomenon. For them, separate mounds were poured and funeral rites were performed, which were usually performed when burying men. A preliminary anthropological analysis of a skeleton found by archaeologists in a burial mound of the Sarmatian era in the Orenburg region, initially identified as female, showed that it belongs to a man, the head of the expedition told RIA Novosti.
Was there a boy?
In parallel, a team of researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology was working on deciphering the genome of a Scythian youth warrior who lived about 2600 years ago. Scientists found his remains in a wooden sarcophagus back in 1988 in the Republic of Tyva. The burial did not contain any typically feminine things like mirrors, but an ax, bow and arrows were found. Based on this, the scientists then decided that in front of them was the grave of a young man. Now, DNA analysis has turned the ancient youth into a teenage girl no older than 14 years old.She was dressed in a shirt and trousers, with a long fur coat on top, probably made from the skins of a rodent belonging to the jerboa family.
“Thanks to the data obtained, we can assume that among the Scythians, girls took part in hunting and military campaigns on an equal basis with boys,” the authors of the work note.
Viking turns into a woman
Similarly, three years ago, Swedish scientists found out that a Viking who lived in the 10th century and was considered a man for more than a hundred years is actually a woman.The grave was found at the end of the nineteenth century in the south-east of Sweden in the town of Birka. Discovered artifacts indicated that the deceased was not just a professional warrior, but, most likely, a high-ranking officer. So, in addition to weapons – a battle ax, a knife, a spear and armor-piercing arrows – next to it lay a set for a checker-type board game. Everyone who sat down to play had to be able to develop a strategy and tactics for a duel. However, a few years ago, a group of scientists, after carefully examining the skeleton, suggested that the found Viking could be a woman.But their conclusion remained in question, since nothing was previously known about the female warriors. And now specialists from Stockholm University have managed to extract nuclear DNA from the tooth and left humerus and analyzed it.
In both samples, there was no Y-chromosome, which determines the male sex, but a second X-chromosome was found, which allows us to confidently assert: a high-ranking warrior is a woman. According to the results of isotope analysis – scientists have determined the ratio of stable isotopes of strontium in the teeth of the deceased – she was not born in Birka.She was probably brought to this city as a child.
6 August 2013, 11:17 found in the Orenburg region The intact grave of a noble Sarmatian woman, buried more than 2.5 thousand years ago, was discovered in the Orenburg region by a group of students of the history department of the Akmulla Bashkir Pedagogical University (BSPU). 90,000 Heroism in his DNA – a warrior and an outstanding geneticist Joseph Rapoport
The Chronicle of the Great Patriotic War is like a mosaic: a million stories, each one about courage and fortitude.The feats that Joseph Rapoport performed have no analogues in world history. He could three times become a Hero of the Soviet Union in the war, a Nobel laureate after the war. But, as often happens, the genius of a military strategist, the talent of an analyst and a scientific mind ahead of their time cannot be forgiven by those on whom titles and awards depend. But in the memory of his soldiers, all the people and the tablets of history, he is a hero, a warrior, an outstanding scientist, a man of exceptional personal decency and nobility.
On May 8, 1945, the forward detachment of the Red Army sweeps through the Austrian city of Melk.A mission of particular importance is to break through the streams of retreating German troops and link up with the American allies. By the end of the war, there are already legends about the commander of this detachment. Here he is on the armor, not bowing to bullets, as the soldiers said – battalion commander Joseph Rapoport.
But he shouldn’t have been at the front at all. In 41st Rapoport, a famous geneticist, prepares to defend his doctorate. The war broke out, and he, as a research assistant, had a reservation. But the next day, Joseph Rapoport was in the ranks of the volunteers.As a result, three performances for the title of hero and three funerals. But death will remain only on paper.
Blood stains on the Komsomol ticket are traces of the first grave injury in Crimea. The 29-year-old commander is not one of those who sit at headquarters, always at the forefront of the attack, while showing himself to be a brilliant tactician. During the crossing of the Dnieper in the 43rd, Rapoport understands that the command chose the place of the crossing for the regiment incorrectly. He personally scouts a new area and arbitrarily changes the point of transfer of forces.
“He not only found such a solution, he received a categorical prohibition to bring it to life, and, nevertheless, risking his life in the full sense, he decided to carry out the decision that he made. And it turned out to be correct. With small losses, the regiment forced Dnieper, took a bridgehead and ensured the passage of the main forces of the division, “- says military historian Alexander Kirilin.
For the operation, which Rapoport began by violating the order, that is, by a military crime, he is promoted to the rank of hero.But he will not receive a reward. Recovering themselves, the Germans hit the bridgehead. The group of troops is threatened with encirclement, and the divisional commander abandons the soldiers. Taking command of himself, Joseph Rapoport leads hundreds of people out of the closing cauldron and catches up with the division commander, who has already set up camp in a safe place.
“The father approached him with a marching step and instead of a report hit him in the face. They both pulled out their revolvers, but the officers were hanging on them,” said Roald Rapoport, the son of Joseph Rapoport.
The divisional commander did not dare to give Rapoport to the tribunal, but he made sure that the hero was not given to him.The command still awards Joseph Rapoport with the Order of the Red Banner.
Hungary, 44th. Rapoport with his soldiers in just 15 minutes takes the city of Mezekomar from Lake Balaton, again, disobeying the order. I just realized before my superiors that this line is strategically important. The battalion repels further attacks of the Nazis with trophy faust cartridges. Polyglot Rapoport translated the instruction from German and sent it to all the soldiers. There was panic in the ranks of the Nazis – they thought that a new weapon had appeared in the Red Army.For the battles in Hungary, Joseph Rapoport was again presented to the title of hero and again does not receive it. The leadership, apparently, did not forgive the rough character. By the way, Rapoport will lose his left eye in these battles.
“A grave wound, one might say, fatal: a bullet hit the head, pierced and knocked out an eye. It’s amazing! He, like Kutuzov, remained alive. I did not reproach him – yes, I did my duty, “says military historian Alexander Kirilin.
But Rapoport not only returned to duty – he escapes from the hospital in bandages and without documents to the front line. Because he feels personal responsibility for each soldier. They, though not much younger, have long called their battalion commander “daddy”.
In addition to the famous meeting of the allies on the Elbe, there was another – on the Danube. On May 8, 45, in Austria, Rapoport is entrusted with that very risky breakthrough through the fascist positions to connect with the Americans. The battalion commander offered, it seemed, an adventure – we will pass without disguise, at full speed, under the enemy’s nose.The calculation turned out to be correct: upon seeing a detachment with Soviet flags, the Nazis gave way in panic.
“When the tigers blocked the way for the detachment, my father approached the nearest one and knocked on the armor with his revolver. When a German officer appeared, his father told him in German that I represent the vanguard of the Stalingrad Tank Army, which in a few minutes will appear on this highway, I propose to withdraw the tanks immediately, “says Roald Rapoport, the son of Joseph Rapoport.
Shocked, the Nazis carried out the order.And the detachment of Joseph Rapoport was able to successfully connect with the Americans. Those reward the dashing battalion commander with the Order of the Legion of Honor. And the Soviet command again submits to the rank of hero. But the third time is not destiny. They say Rapoport annoyed the corps commander by ordering the arrest of his drunken adjutant when he hit a man in a car. The case was hushed up, but the corps commander took revenge – Joseph Rapoport was again denied the title of hero.
His whole life is a struggle. Returning from the front, Rapoport makes a revolutionary discovery – chemical mutagenesis, and is the only one who publicly defends genetics when it is smashed at the very top.For this he is thrown out of science for 10 years, deprived of the laboratory, expelled from the party. But he does not give up, and by the 70s, using his method, dozens of varieties of wheat and other plants are being grown throughout the country.
For the discovery of chemical mutagenesis, Joseph Rapoport was nominated for the Nobel Prize. But for fear of repeating the history of Boris Pasternak – after he was awarded the prize, the poet began to be poisoned in the SSS, the Nobel Committee first asks the views of the Soviet leadership. They put forward a condition: Rapoport must re-enter the party himself, but a non-party person cannot receive a bonus.And again the battalion commander shows a steely character.
“If they themselves restore him to the party again, it means that their deeds, which they have done in 10 years, would be like this. And if he joined the party, it means that both the suffering of his family and the poverty in which they lived , and questions of principle – it means that he also gave up on this. For him it was impossible. And he said – for 60 thousand dollars will not be sold “, – recalls Olga Stroeva, wife of Joseph Rapoport.
The wife of Joseph Rapoport, Olga Georgievna, says that he was absolutely disinterested, he handed out all the awards to his employees, never, it seems, bought anything for himself, except for a cheap wristwatch.He was always driven only by endless interest and love for people, science, life, country and its history.
“If people do not know how to be interested, let them remain so to the grave of their lives. You will not change them. If people have no interest in the past, then what can you ask of them at all? If a person does not want to know something, everything is for him. it will not help anyway, “said Joseph Rapoport.
Surprisingly, you can literally touch the legacy of Joseph Rapoport even today. 40 kilometers from Moscow, Istra district.Here, as in many parts of the country, winter wheat grows – a variety named after Rapoport.
New DNA analysis reveals that the ancient Scythian warrior was a 13-year-old girl
At the time of the ancient gods, warriors and kings in Greek mythology, the story of a tribe of women warriors was founded. Said to be the daughters of the gods, these brutal female fighters have captured people’s imaginations for centuries and still infiltrate popular culture as legendary warriors – the Amazon.
For a long time it was believed that these female warriors were a figment of the imagination, but archaeological evidence since then has shown that female warriors did exist.
At the end of last year, the burial of two women was discovered who were considered nomad Scythians who lived about 2500 years ago (4th century BC). They were buried in the now western Russian village of Devitsa with pieces of horse equipment and weapons, including iron knives and 30 arrowheads.
“It is safe to say that these two women were mounted warriors,” said then archaeologist Valery Gulyaev from the Institute of Archeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
They were found in a mound with two other women – one aged 40-50, who wore a golden headdress with decorative ornaments. Another, aged 30-35, was buried next to two spears and positioned as if she was riding a horse.
“Over the past decade, our expedition has discovered approximately 11 graves of young armed women. Separate burial mounds were filled for them, and all the rituals that were usually performed for men were performed for them, “Gulyaev explained.
Now another team of archaeologists from Russia has examined the genome of 2,600-year-old Scythian remains that were found in a wooden sarcophagus with many weapons back in 1988.
Battle ax of a Scythian girl. (A. Yu. Makeeva / Kilunovskaya et al., Stratum Plus, 2020)
“This child was originally thought to be a man because [commonly attributed to male] archaeological finds were found with him: ax, bow, arrows,” said the archaeologist Varvara Busova from the Russian Academy of Sciences.
But the baby’s DNA showed that the remains were actually female. “This means that we can say with some probability that [Scythian] girls also participated in hunting or military campaigns,” added Busova.
A warrior girl was buried in the modern Siberian republic of Tuva with an ax, a birch bow and a quiver with ten arrows. Due to the dense larch coffin, her remains were partially mummified.
Arrows of a young warrior (A. Yu.Makeeva / Kilunovskaya et al., Stratum Plus, 2020)
“This young ‘Amazon’ has not yet reached the age of 14,” says lead author of the new study, archaeologist Marina Kilunovskaya from the Institute for the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
The girl was wearing a long cape, shirt, trousers or skirt. Using a scanning electron microscope, the researchers discovered that her cape consisted of rags of rodent skins. Carbon dating of other grave items showed that the burial complex was created in the 7th-5th centuries.BC, which is the early Scythian period.
According to Busova, the research group would now like to get more accurate data on the dating of the remains of a young warrior girl, to investigate the composition of metal grave items and to restore and preserve what was found. They also hope that CT scans of the remains can reveal how the young female warrior died.
The ancient Greek historian Herodotus claimed that the Amazons fought the Scythians, but it looks like they could have been Scythian women who trained, hunted and fought alongside their male peers.
“About a third of all Scythian women are buried with weapons and war wounded, just like men,” historian Adrienne Mayor told National Geographic in 2014.
We now have the opportunity to learn more about the true warriors behind the myths through modern archaeological research and DNA techniques.
New study published in Stratum Plus.
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90,000 DNA tests have uncovered the mystery of a Finnish warrior buried in women’s clothing
A tomb in Suontaka Vesitorninmäki, Hattula, dating between 1050 and 1300 AD, was discovered in 1968 during the laying of a water pipe and confused experts for a long time. It was believed that a high-ranking woman was buried in it, possibly along with fragments of a man’s body, which was already considered a double burial. But now, based on modern DNA tests, scientists have come to the conclusion that only one person was buried in the grave, along with weapons and jewelry, who had an additional X chromosome.This condition is known as Klinefelter’s syndrome. Normally, women have two X chromosomes, men have X and Y chromosomes. At the same time, the main contribution to both the female and male body is made by the X chromosome (the first X chromosome in women) – about 2 thousand genes, which affect various aspects of life. The second chromosome, X in women and Y in men, mainly determines gender, and body development based on gender. A person with XXY chromosomes is still genetically male, and often does not realize that he is different from ordinary males.However, the extra X chromosome can cause increased breast growth, infertility, decreased muscle mass, and decreased body and facial hair. Today, this condition affects about one in every 660 men. The warrior, buried with a sword in hand, was dressed in typical medieval women’s clothing and lay on a soft feather blanket along with valuable furs, trinkets and brooches. The wealth of the burial indicates the high social status of the deceased, but the set of objects in the burial, with the exception of swords, was female.According to archaeologists, this indicates that the deceased was intersex during his lifetime.
The second sword, found in the grave, was, in all likelihood, placed in it later – although it could also belong to the deceased. The study, including the interpretation of the find, taking into account the new data, was published in the European Journal of Archeology.
An international team of archaeologists discovered a cave in Iceland that the Vikings associated with the end of the world – Ragnarok. To avoid this event, in which the gods will be killed, and the world will be engulfed in flames, the Vikings built a kind of a huge boat in the cave
Based on the materials of The Daily Mail
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