“A brand-new finding, made using advanced analysis of DNA from all over the world, sheds new light on this mystery. By studying the DNA sequence of Y chromosomes of men from many different populations, scientists have determined that their male most recent common ancestor (MRCA) lived sometime between 120,000 and 156,000 years ago.
It’s the first time the human ancestry has been traced back through the male line by sequencing the DNA of many entire Y chromosomes.
And, it agrees reasonably well with previous findings about our female most recent common ancestor, made by studying DNA carried down through the human race’s female line. Such studies used DNA from mitochrondria — structures inside cells — and placed that time of the most recent common ancestor between 99,000 and 148,000 years ago. That agreement makes the new finding especially significant:
The research was done by a team of scientists from Stanford University, the University of Michigan Medical School, Stony Brook University, and their colleagues, and is published in the journal Science.”
“The fossils, which may represent a new hominid people, are of a people with a highly unusual mix of archaic and modern anatomical features and are the youngest of their kind ever found in mainland East Asia. The fossils are 14,500 to 11,500 years old, which means these humanoids would have shared the landscape with modern-looking humans at a time when China’s earliest farming cultures were beginning.”
“The DNA sequences showed that this individual came from a previously unknown group of extinct humans that have become known as Denisovans. Together with their sister group the Neandertals, Denisovans are the closest extinct relatives of currently living humans.”
September 13, 2010 – Original Source: ScienceDaily
Scientists at the Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS), a biomedical research institute of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), and their colleagues from the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School and Princeton University have recently discovered that viruses that ‘invaded’ the human genome millions of years ago have changed the way genes get turned on and off in human embryonic stem (ES) cells.