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Armed with old bones and new DNA sequencing technology, scientists are getting a much better understanding of the prehistory of the human species, writes Matt Ridley....
In a study published late last year in the journal Nature, Johannes Krause of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, and his colleagues found that all human strains of tuberculosis share a common ancestor in Africa about 6,000 years ago. The implication is that this is when and where human beings first picked up TB. It is much later than other scientists had thought, but Dr. Krause’s finding only deepened the mystery of the Peruvian mummies, since by then, their ancestors had long since left Africa.
Modern DNA cannot help with this problem, but reading the DNA of the tuberculosis bacteria in the mummies allowed Dr. Krause to suggest an extraordinary explanation...
The researchers concluded that seals somehow picked up TB from African humans and then carried it across the ocean to the New World where it spread among the native seal-hunters. 
I find the 6 kya date for the origin of TB too recent, and the theory of an "African to seal to Amerindian" infection route too complicated. Allow me to explain:
TB in seals
Tuberculosis in seals was studied in 2003 (D. Cousins et al.) , they compared genes from six species of seals taken in the UK, New Zealand, Argentina, Australia and Uruguay. They found that pinnipeds share their own strain of MTBC (Mycobacterium pinnipedii) which can also infect other creatures: "guinea pigs, rabbits, humans, Brazilian tapir (Tapirus terrestris) and, possibly, cattle" .
How does it spread in nature? "As with other members of the M. tuberculosis complex, aerosols are the most likely route of transmission" . Seal TB is quite contagious, in fact, 6 out of 25 animal keepers at a zoo in The Netherlands became infected with M. pinnipedii when 13 out of 29 sea lions contracted the disease.  so no eating was necessary, just close contact with living seals was enough to pass on TB from seal to man.
But, does it work the other way round? Did Africans infect seals? or did they eat a dead Dassie or vole and became infected?
Note that African L5 and L6 strains are similar but not identical to seal TB. So it would have had to mutate in Seals and then jump again to infect Amerindians and mutate again... By the way, why didn't seals infect other seal hunting populations around the world? Only Amerindians?
Now, the interesting point is that "There seems to be a common ancestral source of M. pinnipedii across geographic locations, which raises questions about the original distribution of the seal bacillus in animals of different continents and the potential role of marine mammals in the spread and transmission of tubercle bacilli across oceans". 
Bos et al., assume that Africans infected seals with TB. The microbe then mutated among seals and led to a seal-specific lineage which they spread across the globe among seals and sea lions. It later infected some Peruvian seal hunters, and mutated into the Peruvian TB variety which spread among Amerindians. The image below shows this process:
I saw this same study posted at Dienekes blog, and I also found thier conclusions odd.
The six k dating is almost rediculous, since TB has been endemic in north American bovids, bison, and big horn sheep, but oddly not prohorn antelopes , for at least 25k years.
Signs of tb have been found in fossils from all over Na.
I pondered the question , just on the anthropological aspects, the nitty gritty of genetics is to much like work so I leave that for others.
So what I noticed is ,like you illustrated, the piniped strain was down stream of both Peruvian human and Na bovid strains
The question I asked myself is how can a disease that is found in such disparate animals as seal and big horn sheep, who's habitats never coincide, be related?
The one thing they have in common is human hunters. I know that in many hunter gatherer societies, great reverence is placed upon the prey. If the hunter is lucky enough to catch the last breaths of the prey they can be used to catch or transport the spirit of the prey. I belive that is how it was spread from humans to bovids and pinnepeds or visa versa.
Since TB is endemic in the new world by 25 k years ago it supports a very early human entry to the new world.
AWAugust 27, 2014 at 7:38 PM
Thanks for your comment! Indeed TB is far older than 6 ky. And your suggestion that humans are the vector that infected big horns, bovids and seals makes sense.
Your conclusion that TB has been around for at least 25 ky, and reached the Americas long ago is right on the mark!
ron quirorianoAugust 27, 2014 at 8:50 PM
My date was off it is actually, 17,870 ± 230 .
And here is the link to the paper
originally posted by: babybunnies
This is great, and one of my biggest interest areas.
I firmly believe one of the biggest conspiracy theories of our time is a huge coverup of the true human timeline going on within the archaeological community.
They're finding stuff all the time that doesn't match or fit in with the official time line of human history, and much has been swept under the carpet instead of being explained.
Cities from 17,000 years ago when we were supposed to have only crawled out of caves 12,000 years ago just after the last ice age.
originally posted by: babybunnies
Objects found in rock strata millions or even billions of years old. Objects being found that are way before their time. Descriptions of nuclear war and airplanes from centuries ago. Unexplained areas of radiation that are thousands of years old.