We already know where humanity originated: at coordinate 19.4N, 33.7E (approximately)

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We already know where humanity originated: at coordinate 19.4N, 33.7E (approximately)

Look at the cover image. It doesn’t say much, I know, and beyond a vast, boring, monochromatic spit of sand with the Nile River as the only point of color it doesn’t evoke much. A lost point in Sudan, located about 370 kilometers from the Red Sea and just 280 from the border with Egypt. No more. That remote and lost corner may have played a key role in history, however. Moreover, it could be the first chapter. At least, from what we know today. Why? It’s the place they’ve soared a group of Oxford researchers in his effort to create a gigantic family tree that includes several tens of millions of ancestors.

The British team, which has just published its conclusions in Science, has dedicated himself to applying computer models to an extensive list of 6,500 genomes, both modern and ancient, to create an enormous genealogy. In total, they covered more than 215 human populations in order to see how they are linked and record genetic changes. Thanks to the algorithms, they estimated the location of the common ancestors and weaved a dense network of nearly 27 million individuals.

A family tree with millions of stories

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Where did your research take you? Well, to a group of hominids that lived in northeast Africa more than a million years ago. Furthermore, in the article even provide specific coordinates: 19.4N, 33.7E, a remote area of ​​Sudan, about 400 kilometers from Khartoum. A view of Google Earth It is nothing more than a desert region located just 30 km from the Nile.

Does that mean it’s the cradle of humanity? As minimum, the researchers explaindemonstrates that “deep tree structure is geographically centered in Africa” ​​and the findings are consistent with the earliest modern fossils from the East and north of Africa.

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The exact coordinates, yes, may not be the definitive ones. The authors acknowledge that their sampling of Africa is not homogeneous and that if the data are altered “the geographic center of gravity” could shift. They also point out that migrations such as the bantu expansion, among others, may have altered the drawing and distorted the original distribution of our ancestors. Although they have been found Ancient Hominid Remains in South Africais usually designated as “cradle” of humanity the rift valley of Kenya and Botswana, a space rich in vestiges.

That the “shot” can still be adjusted does not detract from the work of the Oxford team. help us track the origins of human genetic diversity and how our most primitive ancestors have related to each other. “Basically, we’ve built a grand family tree, a genealogy for all of humanity that models as accurately as we can the history that generated all of the genetic variation that we find in humans today.” Yan Wong explainsevolutionary geneticist at the Big Data Institute and one of the authors of the study of Science.

How the appearance of humanity has evolved

in Xataka

How the appearance of humanity has evolved

For their study, the team used eight databases with 3,609 individual genomic sequences from 215 populations. The samples have a long antiquity, from between 1,000 and more than 100,000 years. Now, and with the first results on the table, scientists want to continue completing the map, incorporating new genetic data. “As the quality of genomic sequences from modern and ancient DNA samples improves, the trees will become even more precise and we will be able to generate a single map that explains the descent of all the human genetic variation we see today,” Anthony Wilder Wohns scoresits main author.


The news

We already know where humanity originated: at coordinate 19.4N, 33.7E (approximately)

was originally published in

Xataka

by Carlos Prego.

Look at the cover image. It doesn’t say much, I know, and beyond a vast, boring, monochromatic spit of sand…

Look at the cover image. It doesn’t say much, I know, and beyond a vast, boring, monochromatic spit of sand…

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