By analyzing the relationship between the geographic location of current human populations in relation to East Africa and the genetic variability within these populations, researchers have found new evidence for an African origin of modern humans.
The origin of modern humans is a topic that is hotly debated. A leading theory, known as "Recent African Origin" (RAO), postulates that the ancestors of all modern humans originated in East Africa, and that around 100,000 years ago some modern humans left the African continent and subsequently colonized the entire world, supplanting previously established hominids such as Neanderthals in Europe and Homo erectus in Asia.
In the new work reported this week, researchers Franck Prugnolle, Andrea Manica, and François Balloux of the University of Cambridge show that geographic distance from East Africa along ancient colonization routes is an excellent predictor for the genetic diversity of present human populations, with those farther from Ethiopia being characterized by lower genetic variability. This result implies that information regarding the geographic coordinates of present populations alone is sufficient for predicting their genetic diversity. This finding adds compelling evidence for the RAO model. Such a relationship between location and genetic diversity is indeed only compatible with an African origin of modern humans and subsequent spread throughout the world, accompanied by a progressive loss of neutral genetic diversity as new areas were colonized. The loss of genetic diversity along colonization routes is smooth, with no obvious genetic discontinuity, thus suggesting that humans cannot be accurately classified in discrete ethnic groups or races on a genetic basis.
Immune Defense Without Collateral Damage
23.01.2017 | Universität Basel
The interactome of infected neural cells reveals new therapeutic targets for Zika
23.01.2017 | D'Or Institute for Research and Education
For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.
According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine
23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.01.2017 | Process Engineering