There have been some intersting conclusions from the latest in a big survey of Native American DNA just conducted. One of these conclusions is that the New World actually experienced three waves of major settlements. The majorty of the indigenous Americans all descend from a group of migrants that over 15000 years ago moved from Asia to Alaska possibly even more.
Scientists had previously thought that America was colonised in one wave, a theory supported by previous genetic data. However an international team of researchers have just published their findings in a magazine known as Nature.
It is quite clear to these researchers that there was no single migration, but many waves of human dispersal. The team reached their conclusions from checking DNA from over 52 Native American groups and seventeen Siberian groups. They focussed on the variations in their DNA known as SNPs. This meant that they could examine similarities and differences in the genetic make up of the various samples.
There is much more in the Nature website and magazine and also on the BBC. There are some upcoming Nature programs which will be shown on the BBC Iplayer that cover these findings in more depth. Unfortunately if you are based in the US then you cannot access them however this web post can help you - http://www.proxyusa.com/bbciplayerabroad2012. It demonstrates how to use a UK based proxy server to let you watch the BBC Iplayer wherever you are based.