Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Human adolescence spent in South Asia

Media release
5 February 2008


Human adolescence spent in South Asia

Over half of the world’s population lived in Southern Asia 50,000 years ago, on their way from Africa to populate the rest of the world, new research has suggested.

Researchers from The University of Auckland have used DNA to track the movement of humans from their initial birthplace of Africa. The research has shown that over half the population lived in Southern Asia between 50,000 and 25,000 years ago. By comparison, around a third of the world population lives there today.

By tracking mitochondrial DNA, inherited from the mother only, back through the ages to common ancestors, the scientists have been able to plot past population size in eight major geographic regions; Sub-Saharan Africa, Southern Asia, North and Central Asia, Australia, Europe, Middle East and North Africa, New Guinea, and the Americas. The research showed a slow increase in population size in Africa, with a large jump in population size in Southern Asia around 50,000 years ago. Sudden increases, of a smaller scale, were also seen in Australia around 50,000 years ago, Europe 45,000 and 15,000 years ago, and the Americas 20,000 years ago.

“By using genetic techniques, we can track populations in size and geography over long periods of time,” says Dr Alexei Drummond of the Department of Computer Science. “Human mitochondrial DNA patterns reveal that we spent our adolescence, around 50,000 years ago, in Southern Asia, before spreading to other areas of the globe. This means if we want to better understand this crucial period of human history then research should focus on this area more than it currently does.”

The research was conducted by University of Auckland researchers Dr Alexei Drummond of the Department of Computer Science and Professor Russell Gray of the Department of Psychology, in collaboration with former PhD student Quentin Atkinson, now based at the University of Oxford. The research is published in the latest Molecular Biology and Evolution journal.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

ETS Review: Modelling Documents Released

Three technical documents are being released to help New Zealanders engage with the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) review, Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>

ALSO:

Northland: Govt Plan Targets Transport, Web, Maori Assets

The government has released a 10-year plan to attract investors and lift economic growth in Northland, a region that perennially underperforms the rest of the country even while being endowed with natural beauty, productive land, minerals, a potential workforce, scope for manufacturing, forestry and aquaculture, and proximity to Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Statistics: Unemployment Rate Falls To 5.3 Percent

The unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent in the December 2015 quarter (from 6.0 percent), Statistics New Zealand said today. This is the lowest unemployment rate since March 2009. There were 16,000 fewer people unemployed than in the September ... More>>

ALSO:

Employment: Labour Urges Talley’s To End AFFCO Lockout

Labour has urged Talley’s to resolve the ongoing industrial dispute with AFFCO workers which is having a severe effect on the employees, their families and their communities, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. More>>

ALSO:

Three Kings: Govt To Oppose Appeal Blocking $1.2B Auckland Housing Plan

Environment Minister Nick Smith and Housing New Zealand have joined legal proceedings in support of Auckland Council and Fletcher Building opposing a bid by community groups to only allow low-rise housing in a $1.2 billion housing redevelopment on the disused site of the Three Kings quarry. More>>

ALSO:

Transport: Jetstar Expands Regional Network With Three New Routes

More New Zealanders than ever before will have access to Jetstar’s affordable flights when new services take off today from Auckland to New Plymouth and Palmerston North, and Nelson to Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news