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Several major studies, published today, concur that virtually all current global human populations stem from a single wave of expansion out of Africa. Yet one has found 2% of the genome in Papuan populations points to an earlier, separate dispersal event – and an extinct lineage that made it to the islands of Southeast Asia and Oceania
A new study of human genomic diversity suggests there may have in fact been two successful dispersals out of Africa, and that a “trace” of the earlier of these two expansion events has lingered in the genetics of modern Papuans.
Three major genetic studies are published today in the same issue of Nature. All three agree that, for the most part, the genomes of contemporary non-African populations show signs of only one expansion of modern humans out of Africa: an event that took place sometime after 75,000 years ago.
Two of the studies conclude that, if there were indeed earlier expansions of modern humans out of Africa, they have left little or no genetic trace. The third, however, may have found that ‘trace’.
This study, led by Drs Luca Pagani and Toomas Kivisild from the University of Cambridge’s Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, has found a “genetic signature” in present-day Papuans that suggests at least 2% of their genome originates from an even earlier, and otherwise extinct, dispersal of humans out of Africa.
Papuans and Philippine Negritos are populations that inhabit Papua New Guinea and some of the surrounding islands in Southeast Asia and Oceania. In the genomes of these populations, the researchers discovered more of the African ‘haplotypes’ – groups of genes linked closely enough to be inherited from a single source – than in any other present-day population.
Read more at archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com...
The analysis shows that their ancestors were probably the first humans to cross an ocean, and reveals evidence of prehistoric liaisons with an unknown hominin cousin.
...a “genetic signature” in present-day Papuans that suggests at least 2% of their genome originates from an even earlier, and otherwise extinct, dispersal of humans out of Africa.