Tag: natural selection

New Neanderthal Research

As modern humans migrated out of Africa they interbred with Neanderthals, so all non-Africans carry some remnant of those ancient encounters, and new research by scientists at the University of California, Davis, shows how natural selection has purged all but the smallest bits of that ancient DNA. In one ...

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Recalibrating the Genetic Clock: Scientists Develop New and Improved Method for Timing Prehistoric Human Migrations Using Mitochondrial DNA

Just over 20 years ago, the first study using mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) to trace prehistoric human migrations was published. In this seminal study, scientists managed to determine that all humans alive today can trace their maternal ancestry back to one woman who lived about 200,000 years ago in Africa. The ...

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Baby, It’s Cold Outside: Researchers Tie Variation in Cancer Gene to Winter Temperatures

How can geneticists tell when a genetic difference between two human populations is an accident and when it’s the result of natural selection? As our species moved out of Africa and spread out across the globe, there were a lot of chances for random DNA mutations to occur.  Many of these were neutral – ...

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Plus ca change … The Mystery of Ultraconserved Elements

Before efforts to sequence the human genome began, scientists thought they’d find about 100,000 protein coding genes in the three billion bases pairs of DNA that are found in almost every cell. But much to everyone’s surprise, the true number turned out to be much lower. It’s now thought that the human ...

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