Tech UPTechnologyThe mother of all humans lived 200,000 years ago

The mother of all humans lived 200,000 years ago

mitocondria-eva The most comprehensive statistical examination of the genetic data of our species places mitochondrial Eve – the maternal ancestor common to all humans today – 200,000 years ago . The results of the research, conducted at Rice University and led by Marek Kimmel, professor of statistics, has been published in the journal Theoretical Population Biology .

"Our findings underscore the importance of taking into account the random nature of certain processes such as population growth or extinction," explains Kimmel, adding that until now the models used to "find" mitochondrial Eve have overlooked this aspect.

Tracing mitochondrial genomes is the way for geneticists to simplify the search for common ancestors, since while the complete human genome contains more than 20,000 genes, the mitochondrion (cellular organelle that functions as a powerhouse in the cell) only houses 37 genes , and contains a region that functions as a "molecular clock". In addition, since each person inherits the mitochondrial genome from their mother, all the lineages converge into one, which would be that of our common female ancestor , the so-called "Mitochondrial Eve".

In addition to helping us locate our origins, Kimmel recalls that the study helps to understand the patterns of genetic variability in the current population, which will have interesting medical applications.

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