Friday, March 11, 2011

Where did humans originated? Do you know?

Southern Africa is the place where modern humans may have originate, say researchers. This is clear challenge to the age-old view that humans came from eastern part of the Africa.

An extensive genetic study has showed that hunter gatherer populations in the region had greatest degree of genetic diversity, which is an indicator of longevity. According to the study's co-author Brenna Henn of Standford University, the study reached two main conclusions.

"One is that there is an enormous amount of diversity in African hunter-gatherer populations, even more diversity than there is in agriculturalist populations."

"These hunter/gatherer groups are highly structured and are fairly isolated from one another and probably retain a great deal of different genetic variations - we found this very exciting," the BBC quoted her as saying.

"The other main conclusion was that we looked at patterns of genetic diversity among 27 (present day) African populations, and we saw a decline of diversity that really starts in southern Africa and progresses as you move to northern Africa." Henn added.

She explained that the study's modeling was consistent with the serial founder effect. This refers to a loss of genetic variation when a new population is established by a very small number of individuals from the original, larger population.

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