Are we all descended from a common female ancestor?
In 1987, a group of geneticists published a surprising study in the journal Nature. The researchers examined the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) taken from 147 people across all of today’s major racial groups. These researchers found that the lineage of all people alive today falls on one of two branches in humanity’s family tree. One of these branches consists of nothing but African lineage, the other contains all other groups, including some African lineage.
Even more impressive, according to DNA research, we may all have a common ancestor, an African woman who lived thousands of years ago. The scientists named this common female ancestor Mitochondrial Eve. How did scientists reach this conclusion? Is it even possible?
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