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:5/23/2017)... , May 23, 2017  Hunova, the first robotic gym for the ... been officially launched in Genoa, Italy . The first ... and the USA . The technology was developed ... market by the IIT spin-off Movendo Technology thanks to a 10 million ... News Release, please click: ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... , May 16, 2017   Bridge ... health organizations, and MD EMR Systems , ... development partner for GE, have established a partnership ... Portal product and the GE Centricityâ„¢ products, including ... EMR. These new integrations will ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... , April 24, 2017 Janice ... partner with  Identity Strategy Partners, LLP (IdSP) , ... or without President Trump,s March 6, 2017 ... Entry , refugee vetting can be instilled with greater ... (Right now, all refugee applications are suspended by ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... , ... San Diego-based team building and cooking events company, Lajollacooks4u, has unveiled ... bold new look is part of a transformation to increase awareness, appeal to new ... , It will also expand its service offering from its signature gourmet cooking classes ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... , Oct. 10, 2017 International research firm Parks ... Strategy, will speak at the TMA 2017 Annual Meeting , October ... trends in the residential home security market and how smart safety and ... Parks ... "The residential ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... 9, 2017  BioTech Holdings announced today identification ... its ProCell stem cell therapy prevents limb loss ... Company, demonstrated that treatment with ProCell resulted in ... as compared to standard bone marrow stem cell ... in reduction of therapeutic effect.  ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... October ... ... study published on October 5, 2017, in the medical journal, Epilepsia, Brain ... with the gold standard, video EEG, in detecting generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) ...
Breaking Biology Technology: