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Out of Africa Theory Confirmed

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    NHNE News List Current Members: 386 Subscribe/unsubscribe/archive info at the bottom of this message. ... EDITOR S COMMENT: We ve all heard that the evolution
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 31, 2000
      NHNE News List
      Current Members: 386
      Subscribe/unsubscribe/archive info at the bottom of this message.



      We've all heard that the evolution of modern human beings can be traced back
      to Africa. We've also heard that Homo Sapiens can also be traced back to a
      single female who experienced a mutation that set our species in motion.
      What struck me while reading the latest information on this theory was how
      profoundly one person can change the world. Are any of us carrying new
      genes, new ideas, new ways of being that will eventually reshape our race
      and planet?

      --- David Sunfellow


      Monday, 30 October, 2000


      The most recent ancestor of all males living today was a man who lived in
      Africa around 59,000 years ago, according to an international team of

      The scientists from eight countries have drawn up a genetic family tree of
      mankind by studying variations in the Y chromosome of more than a thousand
      men from different communities around the world. The Y chromosome is one of
      the two sex chromosomes (X and Y) which only men carry (women carry two X

      The new research confirms the Out of Africa theory that modern humans
      originated in Africa before slowly spreading across the world.

      But the finding raises new questions, not least because our most recent
      paternal ancestor would have been about 84,000 years younger than our
      maternal one.

      The team believes there is an explanation. They propose that the human
      genetic blueprint evolved as a mosaic, with different pieces of modern DNA
      emerging and spreading throughout the human population at different times.

      Origins of man

      Evidence from the fossil record suggests that modern man originated in
      Africa about 150,000 years ago, before moving steadily across the globe.

      This Out of Africa hypothesis has been confirmed by studies of mitochondrial
      DNA, the segment of genetic material that is inherited exclusively from the

      Based on these studies, our most recent common ancestor is thought to be a
      woman who lived in Africa some 143,000 years ago, the so-called
      Mitochondrial Eve.

      To find the common paternal ancestor, the team drew up a genetic family tree
      of mankind. They mapped small variations in the Y chromosomes of 1,062 men
      in 22 geographical areas, including Pakistan, India, Cambodia, Laos,
      Australia, New Guinea, America, Mali, Sudan, Ethiopia and Japan.

      The new genetic family tree supports the Out of Africa scenario. But it
      suggests that our most recent paternal ancestor would have been about 84,000
      years younger than our maternal one.

      Regions of the genome

      "You can ultimately trace every female lineage back to a single
      Mitochondrial Eve who lived in Africa about 150,000 years ago," said Dr
      Spencer Wells of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics in Oxford, UK,
      who was part of the team.

      "The Y chromosome we trace again back to Africa but the date is about 80,000
      years ago.

      He told BBC News Online that the two studies could be reconciled. "There's a
      different evolutionary history for each region of the genome but they all
      are consistent in placing the ancestor of all modern humans alive today in

      The research, published in the journal Nature Genetics, gives an intriguing
      insight into the journey of our ancestors across the planet, from eastern
      Africa into the Middle East, then to southeast and southern Asia, then New
      Guinea and Australia, and finally to Europe and Central Asia.

      Some modern-day men living in what is now Sudan, Ethiopia and southern
      Africa are believed to be the closest living descendants of the first humans
      to set out on that great journey tens of thousands of years ago.


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