Yet another study on the relationships between Taiwan and Polynesians….

In the research, scientists examined more than 800 genetic markers known to be useful in distinguishing the ancestry of people. These involved mitochondrial DNA, passed down through females, and the Y chromosomes in males. Previous investigations along these lines had been conducted on a much smaller scale, Dr. Friedlaender said.

The new test results were repeatedly analyzed with a software program recently developed to classify genetic similarities and variations among different populations.

Primary support for the study was provided by the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation of Anthropological Research, the National Geographic Society and the National Institutes of Health.

Further research to confirm the history of the Pacific diaspora, Dr. Friedlaender said, would require an expansion of genetic tests among people in the Philippines and Indonesia, regions that the migrants presumably passed through after leaving Taiwan more than 3,500 years ago, ultimately reaching as far as Hawaii and Easter Island. The Melanesians, on the other hand, probably arrived on their islands about 35,000 years ago, sometime later than the Aborigines reached Australia.

Fascinating stuff.