Genes indicate Stone Age link between India and Australia

Genetic evidence suggests some people migrated from India to Australia roughly 4,300 years ago

Genetic evidence suggests some people migrated from India to Australia roughly 4,300 years ago, about the same time that new types of stone tools and dingoes arrived on the island continent. Australia is thought to have been mostly isolated from the rest of the world between the arrival of its earliest human inhabitants about 45,000 years ago and its first European settlers during the 18th century. But a study by Mark Stoneking of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and colleagues suggests that Stone Age Indian immigrants brought their technology and dogs with them to Australia and assimilated into local populations. The finding appears online January 14 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Tina Hesman Saey

Tina Hesman Saey is the senior staff writer and reports on molecular biology. She has a Ph.D. in molecular genetics from Washington University in St. Louis and a master’s degree in science journalism from Boston University.

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