Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


28 September 2012

Extensive DNA Study Sheds Light on Modern Human Origins

Popular Archaeology, 20-09-2012

A new study of human genetic variation in sub-Saharan Africa, where modern Homo sapiens are believed to have originated, helps to reveal the region’s rich genetic history, with implications for understanding the complexity of early modern human evolution. The largest genomic study ever conducted among the Khoe and San population groups in southern Africa reveals that these groups are descendants of the earliest diversification event in the history of all humans – some 100,000 years ago, well before the largely accepted  ‘out-of-Africa’ migration date range of modern humans. Some 220 individuals from different regions in southern Africa participated in the research, leading to the analysis of around 2.3 million DNA variants per individual – the largest such study ever conducted. The research was conducted by a group of international scientists, including Dr. Carina Schlebusch and Assistant Professor Mattias Jakobsson from Uppsala University in Sweden and Professor Himla Soodyall from the Human Genomic Diversity and Disease Research Unit in the Health Faculty at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

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