Tracing the “Peopling of the World” (The Great Human Diaspora) through genomics

One of the (less predicted) benefits of The Human Genome Project (that started in Oct 1990) –– was the amount of DNA sequence, and perhaps especially including informative DNA sequence data that could be retrieved from ancient bones uncovered all over the planet during these past ~26 years.  These studies have led to a much better understanding about the genomes of both modern and ancient peoples.  Consequently, we now know so much more about human evolutionary history.

The attached (EXCELLENT) article is an “easy-to-read” description of all the major thinking and advances in our understanding. These include the:

[a] discovery of interbreeding between anatomically modern humans and extinct hominins;

[b] development of an increasingly detailed description of the complex dispersal of modern humans out of Africa and their population expansion worldwide; and

[c] characteriza­tion of many of the genetic adaptions of humans to local environmental conditions.

Without question, our interpretation of human evolutionary history and adaptation of humans –– has been, and will continue to be, updated and transformed by analyses of these new genomic data.

Nature 19 Jan 2o17; 541: 302–310

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