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 Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

nachricht How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>