Sunday, September 25, 2011
First Aboriginal genome sequenced
A 90-year-old tuft of hair has yielded the first complete genome of an Aboriginal Australian, a young man who lived in southwest Australia.
He, and perhaps all Aboriginal Australians, the genome indicates, descend from the first humans to venture far beyond Africa more than 60,000 years ago, and thousands of years before the ancestors of most modern Asians trekked east in a second migration out of Africa.
"Aboriginal Australians are descendents of the first human explorers. These are the guys who expanded to unknown territory into an unknown world, eventually reaching Australia," says Eske Willerslev, a palaeogeneticist at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, who led the study. It appears online today in Science1.
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