Daily Archives: May 6, 2009

An evolutionary sidenote

This post has nothing particular to do with climate change, but I thought it might be worth pointing out a recent study analyzing the evolutionary history of Africans and African Americans.

Africa is the source of all modern humans, originating there a few hundred thousand years ago and spreading across the globe within the last 100,000 years. The authors analyze DNA from 113 populations of Africans from across the continent and find that they descend from 14 ancestral groups (with the highest within-population diversity worldwide) and find significant associations between genetic and geographic (as well as linguistic) distance in all regions of Africa. These groups later interact with each other to create the distinct populations that exist today. The study of African genetic diversity will be important for reconstructing African and African American population histories, as well as the genetic basis of diseases prevalent in Africa.

As another sidenote, there is a new blog called Darwinaia which will have focus on paleontology, history of science (particularly evolutionary related stuff), so if you’re into that, check it out.