DNA Unlocks Secret of Early Humans

Homo sapiens may have gone to India first
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 31, 2011 2:30 PM CST
DNA Project Unlocks Migration Secret of Early Humans Journeying Out of Africa
Early humans may not have journeyed north out of Africa after all.   (Shutterstock)

Early humans may not have journeyed north out of Africa after all. Instead, DNA experts say, they built boats about 60,000 years ago and floated their way from East Africa over to India. That and other interesting tidbits are emerging from a DNA study called the Genographic Project, the Independent reports. Modern-day volunteers are offering their DNA samples in order to help scientists track how Homo sapiens emerged in Africa about 200,000 years ago and later traveled out into the world.

Examination of the female X chromosome shows that their first major migration was via the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait to India. DNA evidence also reveals that the most genetic variation exists in Africa, where early humans spent the most time. Second-most is in India, probably because early humans went there first. The Independent looks at the DNA of several volunteers, revealing whether each person's DNA dates back only to the Ice Age or all the way back to "Mitochondrial Eve." (Read about an ancient pinkie finger that revealed a previously undiscovered group of humans.)

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