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Human Populations: Evolution

  1. Rebecca L Cann

Published Online: 15 JUL 2006

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0005075

eLS

eLS

How to Cite

Cann, R. L. 2006. Human Populations: Evolution. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. University of Hawaii–Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2006

Abstract

Human populations began a separate evolutionary genetic trajectory about 6 million years ago, but the common ancestors of all modern human populations share a more recent past, and generally trace back to less than 1 million years ago. Estimating the exact age of these genetic ancestors, who likely came out of Africa and dispersed around the world, depends on the particular set of genes examined.

Keywords:

  • mitochondrial DNA;
  • Y-DNA;
  • paleoanthropology;
  • dispersal;
  • isolation;
  • speciation;
  • gene flow