Science

Feeling old? DNA supports early evolution of our species

Feeling old? DNA supports early evolution of our species”

At Hoedjiespunt, scientists found 280,000-year-old teeth, skull fragments and a tibia shaft from a juvenile hominid attributed to Homo heidelbergensis. This latest study arrived at an earlier date for modern humans' rise when the researchers finished sequencing the genomes of seven individuals, including a hunter-gatherer youth who lived around 2,000 years ago.

Modern humans - or homo sapiens - first began to emerge between 260,000 and 350,000 years ago, according to new research based on the analysis of ancient human genomes.

Dubai staged a test flight on Monday for what it said would soon be the world's first drone taxi service under an ambitious plan by the United Arab Emirates city to lead the Arab world in innovation.

Modern humans may have emerged 350,000 years ago - much earlier than thought, say scientists who have analysed the genome of seven individuals who lived in southern Africa between 2,300 and 300 years ago. "This means that modern humans emerged earlier than previously thought", study author Mattias Jakobsson, a population geneticist at Uppsala University, said in a statement. For many years, anthropologists used to think humans evolved in one single corner of Africa from where they dispersed into Europe and Asia through the Middle East.

"The reconstruction of deep human history in Africa is becoming increasingly robust when the dating of fossils, such as those from Morocco, the Stone Age archaeological record and human DNA come together to highlight interesting periods in our evolutionary past", said Marlize Lombard, a University of Johannesburg professor of Stone Age archaeology and co-leader of the Science study. Researchers also found that all current-day Khoe-San populations mixed with migrant East African pastoralists a little over a thousand years ago. Stone Age individuals, on the other hand, did not carry these protective alleles. Southern African hunter-gatherers are shown by red symbols and Iron Age farmers in green symbols.

Though human fossils are sparse, those of Florisbad and Hoedjiespunt are seen as transitional to modern humans, they said. Three of these lived during the Stone Age, while four others lived 300 to 500 years ago.



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