In the news: Riken study — 2 genetic types of Japanese exist

The Yomiuri Shimbun

The Japanese can be genetically classified into two categories–people native to the Ryukyu Islands in Okinawa Prefecture and people native to other parts of Japan–researchers from the Institute of Physical and Chemical Science (Riken), who analyzed the genes and genetic structure of about 7,000 people, have discovered.

Riken’s findings, which were meant to shed more light on the origins of Japanese, were published in the online edition of a U.S. science magazine on Friday.

The biggest genetic difference in these two groups were found to be hair thickness and ear wax texture. People who originated from areas outside of the Ryukyu Islands tend to have much harder hair and drier ear wax and were discovered to be genetically closer to Chinese people.

(Sep. 27, 2008)

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