Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

African Ancestor Of The Russian, Chinese And American Indian

13.10.2003


Large-scale genetic research carried out by Russian and American scientists have proved that contemporary mankind originated from a very small group of people. Common ancestors have been discovered for the entire population of many billions inhabiting all five continents of the Earth: these are two thousand primeval hunters-gatherers who used to live in Africa more than 100,000 years ago. New data has been also obtained about the rates and directions of human beings’ prehistoric evolution, and the way the continents got inhabited.



The research carried out L. A. Zhivotovsky, Doctor of Biology (Institute of General Genetics, Russian Academy of Sciences) jointly with the co-authors from the Standord and California Universities is devoted to the global landscape of human beings’ origination and distribution on the planet. (The research was funded through the grant of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research.) Identifying the length and position of all “branches” on our family tree is a worthy challenge to contemporary science!

The researchers have applied the recent achievements of molecular-biological technology which allow to concurrently analyze multiple DNA characteristics of a person. 377 DNA characteristics (markers) of the currently living nations from all the continents - 52 populations from Africa, Europe, Middle, Central and Eastern Asia, Oceania and America - were studied. Studying and comparing genetic characteristics typical of various groups of people, the researchers can learn a lot: not only to establish “family ties” between the nations, but also to determine how long ago the group of people was formed. Judging by the fact whether the “primitive” characteristics are diverse, or on the contrary the characteristic set is limited, the researchers determine whether the nation was numerous at the beginning of its history or originated from a small group of people. Certainly, this is done “by eye”: serious study requires application of contemporary mathematical methods and statistical technology. The theory of evolution today comes down not only to archaeology and genetics, but above all to mathematics.


Having processed the accumulated data, the authors came to the conclusion that all people on the Earth had originated from a small group of ancestors – their quantity not exceeding 2 thousand people. (The previous concept was that the quantity of ancestors of contemporary people used to be much more - about 10,000.) More people inhabit currently a single microdistrict of a modern megapolis!

“The above conclusion does not exclude the possibility that other groups of people existed at that time, says one of the authors of the research, Doctor of Biology, Professor Zhivotovsky. However, all of us are descendants of those two thousand people, and all our genes originate from that population.”

Approximately 70-140 thousand years ago a small group of founders of mankind started to divide into individual branches giving rise tofuture races and populations. The most ancient branch is now represented by hunters-gatherers of South Africa – tribes of San (territory of Congo), Mbuty (Namibia) and others. Another branch separated from this one 8,700 years ago, their ultimate descendants have also lived up to nowadays – these are African populations going in for agriculture, such as Bantu (Kenya), Joruba (Nigeria), Mandenka (Senegal). When the number of African populations grew up, mankind began to “splash out” of the boundaries of Africa to other continents: people migrated to Western Eurasia, then to Oceania, Easterm Asia and at last – to America.

Initially, the number of people in major territories of settlements, including Africa, was relatively small and probably underwent significant fluctuations – a lot of people died due to the limitations in food and severe living conditions. However, about 35 thousand years ago, steady growth began in the quantity of African “farmer” populations, and ten thousand years later, quantity of populations started to grow in Eurasia.

It is known that at that time in particular our ancestors started to use new technologies – they produced more sophisticated stone and bone tools. The tribes succeeded in procuring more food and in coping with unfavorable conditions - bad weather, predators. As a result, more children survived in each generation, and the quantity of people on the planet grew up continuously – thanks to achievement of the mind, the human species was winning the “evolutionary race”. (New, even faster upgrowth of mankind quantity happened much later, upon transition to agriculture, approximately 10 thousand years ago.)

It is interesting to note that the populations of hunters-gatherers of Africa, aboriginals of Oceania and American Indians do not have “DNA-signals” of quantity growth. Indeed, these groups of people remained at the level of previous primitive technologies and due to that they can only support their quantity at the minimum level, which, as thousands of years ago, varies significantly from generation to generation, depending on weather conditions, successful hunting and other “favors of gods”.

However, maybe the most important finding of the research is as follows. All of us, people of the Earth, are genetic brothers and sisters: if we are not “cousins from Adam and Eve descended”, as O.Henri joked, then indeed the children of the same tribe.

Sergey Komarov | alfa

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Making fuel out of thick air
08.12.2017 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory

nachricht ‘Spying’ on the hidden geometry of complex networks through machine intelligence
08.12.2017 | Technische Universität Dresden

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Midwife and signpost for photons

11.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

How do megacities impact coastal seas? Searching for evidence in Chinese marginal seas

11.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

PhoxTroT: Optical Interconnect Technologies Revolutionized Data Centers and HPC Systems

11.12.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>