Single exodus from Africa gave rise to today’s non-Africans | Science News

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Single exodus from Africa gave rise to today’s non-Africans

Genetic data point to a date less than 72,000 years ago but climate scientists disagree

By
3:28pm, September 21, 2016
computer simulation of ancient climate

GRAND OPENING  A computer simulation of ancient climates predicts that people most likely left Africa about 80,000 to 100,000 years ago. That’s earlier than geneticists estimate by 10,000 years or more.

One wave of ancient human migrants out of Africa gave rise to all non-Africans alive today, three separate genetic studies conclude.

Those human explorers left Africa about 50,000 to 72,000 years ago, mixed with Neandertals and spread across the world, researchers report online September 21 in Nature. The studies present data from genetically diverse and previously unrepresented populations. Together they offer a detailed picture of deep human history and may settle some long-standing debates, but there is still room to quibble. All non-Africans stem from one major founding population, the studies agree, but earlier human migrations are also recorded in present-day people’s DNA, one study finds. And a fourth study in the same issue of Nature, this one focusing on ancient climate, also makes the case for an earlier exodus.

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