Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Aboriginal Genome Reveals New Insights into Early Humans

By Australian Science Media Centre (Ed.)

What does the genetic sequencing of an ancient Aboriginal man tell us about the ancestry of Aboriginal Australians?

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“It definitely strongly supports the idea that Aborigines were an early and separate wave of human expansion out of Africa, before the subsequent wave that established Europeans and Asians. This has long been thought to be the case, due to the very early archaeological signs of Aboriginal presence in Australia (~50 kyr) and existing genetic data, but the highly resolved view available from a genomic sequence is a really valuable contribution. While the information is only from a single individual, it provides a powerful view of the common, shared heritage of the movement of the ancestors of modern Aboriginal populations from Africa around half the world to Australia – which is one of the most important and poorly understood stories of human history.

“The key unresolved question remains the unique story of Aboriginal history within Australia. Unfortunately, the information from a single individual tells us very little about this critically important part of human history. Aborigines are one of the oldest continuous human populations outside Africa, and due to the geographic isolation and limited archaeological records – remain one of the most mysterious chapters in human history.”

Professor Alan Cooper is Director of the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA at the University of Adelaide.

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“This new DNA study powerfully confirms that...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Source: AusSMC