Wednesday, April 21, 2010

70 000 years ago human beings faced extinction

Researches focusing on the mitochondrial DNA, transmitted only through maternal lineage, have showed that modern humans are rooted in a single African "Eve", who lived about 200,000 years ago. In other words, that female established a population from which our species first evolved. About 60,000 years ago, we, Homo sapiens, went out of Africa.

SHOOT: And the elephant in the room of that time was climate change.
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Bushmen hunters
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Over 6.6 billion people inhabit the planet today. With all that, 70,000 years ago, no more than 2,000 people existed, as revealed by a new research carried out at Stanford University and published in the American Journal of Human Genetics. 70,000 years ago, our species was represented only by a small isolated African population, fighting to survive severe drought.
"This study illustrates the extraordinary power of genetics to reveal insights into some of the key events in our species' history. Tiny bands of early humans, forced apart by harsh environmental conditions, coming back from the brink to reunite and populate the world. Truly an epic drama, written in our DNA," said Spencer Wells, National Geographic Society explorer in residence and head of the Genographic Project, launched in 2005.
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