Human origin pinpointed

Robert Park wrote in What’s New:

The discovery in 2003 by Tim White of UC Berkeley of a 160,000 year old partial skeleton of Homo sapiens in Ethiopia was the strongest evidence yet that we did indeed come out of Africa.

sarahatishkoffA young molecular anthropologist at the University of Maryland, Sarah Tishkoff, saw that the mapping of the human genome provides a new tool for tracking the out-of-Africa migration of Homo sapiens: footprints in the DNA of living humans.

Now at the Univ. of Pennsylvania, Tishkoff’ s team, which included linguists as well as geneticists, narrowed the origin of modern humans to the inhospitable borderland between Angola and Namibia. Their study, published yesterday in Science, took researchers into remote regions to sample the bloodline of more than 100 distinct populations.

The exit point was in Northeast Africa at about the midpoint of the Red Sea.

You can read about her project here.

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