Posted by Sara Ahmed Malik
Following genetic footprints out of Africa
A new study, using genetic analysis to look for clues about human migration over sixty thousand years ago, suggests that the first modern humans settled in Arabia on their way from the Horn of Africa to the rest of the world.
Led by the University of Leeds and the University of Porto in Portugal, the study is published today in American Journal of Human Genetics and provides intriguing insight into the earliest stages of modern human migration, say the researchers.
“A major unanswered question regarding the dispersal of modern humans around the world concerns the geographical site of the first steps out of Africa,” explains Dr Luísa Pereira from the Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology of the University of Porto (IPATIMUP). “One popular model predicts that the early stages of the dispersal took place across the Red Sea to southern Arabia, but direct genetic evidence has been thin on the ground.”