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The site where Upward Sun River infants were discovered. Photo: Ben Potter / University of Alaska Fairbanks

A team of international scientists announced Wednesday that the remains of a six-week-old girl found in Alaska in 2010 yielded "the second-oldest human genome ever found in North America" — and one corresponding to a previously unknown lineage of humans, according to the New York Times.

Why it matters: The finding gives researchers some of the first archaeological evidence for how people came from Asia to the Western Hemisphere and supports the idea that Siberian migrants settled the Americas, per the Times.

  • The girl, given the name Xach'itee'aanenh T'eede Gaay (which means "sunrise girl child" in the local dialect), was more closely related to Native Americans than other people living today, NYT reports, though she "belonged to neither the northern or southern branch of Native Americans."
  • She is a descendent of the Ancient Beringians, named after the land bridge across the Bering Strait during the most recent ice age. The researchers suggest Ancient Beringians split from Native Americans' ancestors about 20,000 years ago.

But, but, but: There's debate among scientists on when Native Americans' ancestors split into different branches, per the Atlantic.

  • One possibility is that they split into two lineages in Beringia, where the Ancient Beringians stayed, and the other side eventually "gave rise to the other Native Americans." This would mean there was only one migration.
  • Others argue that the Ancient Beringians diverged from other Native Americans while still in Asia, and that both groups "independently traveled into Beringia and subsequently into the Americas," the Atlantic reports.

Go deeper

Facebook, Instagram transfer accounts, followers to Biden administration

Screenshot of official White House Facebook account.

Facebook on Wednesday confirmed that it is transferring the millions of followers of the official Facebook and Instagram White House accounts to the Biden administration.

Details: The accounts for "@POTUS," "@VicePresident" ("@VP" on Instagram) and "@FLOTUS" are having the followers from their personal Pages and accounts be transferred over. It's unclear when that transition process will be complete.

Updated 23 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Inauguration Day dashboard

Biden delivers his inaugural address on the West Front of the Capitol. Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Biden has delivered his inaugural address at the Capitol, calling for an end to the politics as total war but warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country.

What's next: Biden signs executive orders and swears in day one presidential appointees in a virtual ceremony.

Mike Allen, author of AM
43 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's inauguration signals a great American reset

President Biden prepares to walk the abbreviated parade route in front of the White House after the inauguration. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

President Biden had exited his Cadillac with the new "46" license plates and was strolling a short stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue toward his new home when he spotted "Today" show weather legend Al Roker.

The big picture: Biden dropped Jill Biden's hand — no warning — and trotted over to the delighted Roker. POTUS gave Roker a fist bump and said, "Gotta keep doing this!" It was a very Joe moment in a day that was designed to signal a return to normality in a turbulent America.