Navigation Links
Using human genomes to illuminate the mysteries of early human history
Date:9/21/2011

ITHACA, N.Y. Cornell University researchers are utilizing the complete genome sequences of people alive today to shed light on events at the dawn of human history, such as the times of divergence of early human populations and of the "out of Africa" migration of the ancestors of modern Europeans, Asians, and other non-African groups.

Researchers studied the genomes of people from East Asian, European, and western and southern African descent and discovered that the San, an indigenous group of hunter gatherers from southern Africa, diverged from other human populations earlier than previously thought about 130,000 years ago. In comparison, the ancestors of modern Eurasian populations migrated from Africa only about 50,000 years ago. The study is published in the Sept. 18 issue of Nature Genetics.

Previous studies of human demography have primarily relied on mitochondrial DNA from the maternal line or Y-chromosomal DNA passed from fathers to their sons. The Cornell study uses the full genome of each individual, providing a richer, more complete picture of human evolution.

"The use of genome-wide data gives you much more confidence that you are getting the right answer," said Adam Siepel, Cornell associate professor of biological statistics and computational biology, and senior author of the paper. "With mitochondrial DNA, you are only looking at one family tree, with one pathway from each individual to its ancestors. We are sampling from all possible pathways."

"What's unusual about our methods is that, not only do they use complete genome sequences, but they consider several populations at once," said Ilan Gronau, the paper's lead author and a postdoctoral associate in Siepel's lab. "This is the first paper to put all of these pieces together."

Previous studies estimated that modern humans arose roughly 200,000 years ago in eastern or southern Africa; and that the indigenous hunting-and-gathering central and southern African San people one of the most genetically divergent human populations diverged from other Africans about 100,000 years ago.

But this study shows that the San people split from other African populations about 130,000 years ago (somewhere between 108,000 and 157,000 years ago). The estimate of an "out of Africa" migration of about 50,000 years ago is consistent with recent findings using other methods, the researchers said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Joe Schwartz
Joe.Schwartz@cornell.edu
607-254-6235
Cornell University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. NJIT professor finds engineering technique to identify disease-causing genes
2. Research shows that the pill does not deserve its reputation for causing weight gain
3. Planetary "first family" discovered by astronomers using Gemini and Keck Observatories
4. Planetary first family discovered by astronomers using Gemini and Keck Observatories
5. Using water to understand human society, from the industrial revolution to global trade
6. ESA satellites focusing on the Arctic
7. Using the other guys toolkit: Similarities of pumping blood, oil examined
8. Bangladesh Voter Registration Project Now Using MegaMatcher Biometric Technology to Detect and Prevent Duplicate Registrations
9. City of Newark first in nation using cars to power grid
10. Warmer climate causing huge increase in tree mortality across the West
11. Cancer-causing gene discovery suggests new therapies
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/31/2016)... 31, 2016  Genomics firm Nabsys has completed a ... Barrett Bready , M.D., who returned to the company ... technical leadership team, including Chief Technology Officer, John ... Steve Nurnberg and Vice President of Software and Informatics, ... Dr. Bready served as CEO of Nabsys ...
(Date:3/23/2016)... 23, 2016 ... Gesichts- und Stimmerkennung mit Passwörtern     ... MESG ), ein führender Anbieter digitaler ... mit SpeechPro zusammenarbeitet, um erstmals dessen Biometrietechnologie ... die Möglichkeit angeboten, im Rahmen mobiler Apps ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... PROVO and SANDY, Utah ... (NSO), which operates the highest sample volume laboratory in ... Tute Genomics and UNIConnect, leaders in clinical sequencing informatics ... the launch of a project to establish the informatics ... NSO has been contracted by the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Newly ... technologies, services and solutions to the healthcare market. The company's primary focus is ... manufacturing, sales and marketing strategies that are necessary to help companies efficiently bring ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016 Epic Sciences unveiled a ... susceptible to PARP inhibitors by targeting homologous recombination ... The new test has already been incorporated into ... cancer types. Over 230 clinical trials ... pathways, including PARP, ATM, ATR, DNA-PK and WEE-1. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical , an ... designed to target cancer stemness pathways, announced that ... Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food and ... cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin is ... inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is pleased to announce 24 new ... prostate cancer. Members of the Class of 2016 were selected from a pool ... Read More About the Class of 2016 PCF Young Investigators ... ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: