Navigation Links
Long lost sisters
Date:5/15/2008

The human race was divided into two separate groups within Africa for as much as half of its existence, says a Tel Aviv University mathematician. Climate change, reduction in populations and harsh conditions may have caused and maintained the separation.

Dr. Saharon Rosset, from the School of Mathematical Sciences at Tel Aviv University, worked with team leader Doron Behar from the Rambam Medical Center to analyze African DNA. Their goal was to study obscure population patterns from hundreds of thousands of years ago.

Rosset, who crunched numbers and did the essential statistical analysis for the National Geographic Society's Genographic Project, said the team was trying to understand the timing and dynamics of the split into at least two separate groups.

We wanted to look into the ancient history of our species. How did we live throughout most of our existence as a species" Did we live as one or were we fractured into small groups" Until now, it wasnt really clear, says Rosset.

A Picture of the Ancient Past

Researchers believe that about 60,000 years ago, modern humans started their epic journeys to populate the world. This time period has been the primary focus of anthropological genetic research. However, relatively little is known about the demographic history of our species over the previous 140,000 years in Africa.

The current study returns the focus to Africa and thereby refines the understanding of early modern Homo sapiens history.

Rosset, who is also affiliated with IBMs T.J. Watson Research Center in New York, says the study provides insight into the early demographic history of human populations before they moved out of Africa. These early human populations were small and isolated from each other for many tens of thousands of years, says Rosset.

The teams research was based on a survey of African mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and is the most extensive survey of its kind. It included over 600 complete mtDNA genomes from indigenous populations across the continent.

How Old Was Mitochondrial Eve"

MtDNA, inherited down the maternal line, was used in 1987 to discover the age of the famous Mitochondrial Eve, the most recent common female ancestor of everyone alive today. This work has since been extended to show unequivocally that Mitochondrial Eve was an African woman who lived sometime during the past 200,000 years.

Recent data suggests that Eastern Africa went through a series of massive droughts between 90,000 and 135,000 years ago. It is possible that this climate shift contributed to the population splits. What is surprising is the length of time the populations were separate for as much as half of our entire history as a species.

Dr. Spencer Wells, director of the Genographic Project and Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society, said, "This new study illustrates the extraordinary power of genetics to reveal insights into some of the key events in our species' history. Tiny bands of early humans, forced apart by harsh environmental conditions, coming back from the brink to reunite and populate the world. Truly an epic drama, written in our DNA."

Adds Rosset, Israelis and Jews are always curious about looking into their roots. Just in this study, we were digging deeper than we normally do.


'/>"/>

Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert  

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Long lost sisters
(Date:2/22/2017)... -- With the biometrics market to exceed $10 ... that innovative and agile startups must incorporate into ... changing competitive landscape: multifactor authentication (MFA), point-of-sale (PoS), ... "Companies can no longer afford to cut corners ... Pavlakis , Industry Analyst at ABI Research. "Pairing ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... Feb. 16, 2017  Genos, a community for ... it has received Laboratory Accreditation from the College ... presented to laboratories that meet stringent requirements around ... rigorous processes. "Genos is committed to ... practices. We,re honored to be receiving CAP accreditation," ...
(Date:2/13/2017)... WASHINGTON , Feb. 13, 2017 Former ... U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Janice Kephart of ... regarding President Donald Trump,s "Executive Order: Protecting ... States" (Jan. 27, 2017):  "As President Trump,s ... 9th Circuit has now essentially banned the travel ban, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 22, 2017 The ... states a research report by Transparency Market Research (TMR). ... Amgen Inc., and AbbVie Inc., accounted for a share ... prominent players in this market are focusing aggressively on ... portfolio, which is likely to lead to market consolidation ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... March 21, 2017 , ... Premier executive recruitment firm, Slone Partners, is ... by Hunt Scanlon Media. , Hunt Scanlon Media is one of the ... global news source in the human capital sector. , “It is a great honor ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... New York, NY (PRWEB) , ... March 21, 2017 , ... ... Medical Officer Summit (CMO Summit) to be held on May 10-11, 2017, at ... event in the country specifically for Chief Medical Officer peer-to-peer learning, benchmarking and support. ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... and PETACH TIKVAH, Israel , ... BCLI), a leading developer of adult stem cell technologies ... , Chief Executive Officer, will provide an update on ... 2 nd Annual Neuroscience Biopartnering and Investment Forum, ... New York Academy of Sciences. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: