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Ancient DNA is helping find the first horse tamers, and a single gene is spawning a fierce debate in salmon conservation

Who were the first horse tamers? Online News Editor Catherine Matacic talks to Sarah Crespi about a new study that brings genomics to bear on the question. The hunt for the original equine domesticators has focused on Bronze Age people living on the Eurasian steppe. Now, an ancient DNA analysis bolsters the idea that a small group of hunter-gatherers, called the Botai, were likely the first to harness horses, not the famous Yamnaya pastoralists often thought to be the originators of the Indo-European language family. Sarah also talks with News Intern Katie Langin about her feature story on a single salmon gene that may separate spring- and fall-run salmon. Conservationists, regulators, and citizens are fiercely debating the role such a small bit of DNA plays in defining distinct populations. Is the spring run distinct enough to warrant protection? This week’s episode was edited by Podigy. Listen to previous podcasts. [Image: Jessica Piispanen/USFWS; Music: Jeffrey Cook] 

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