27 April 2008

Khoisan have oldest genetics?

The Khoisan have, on their maternal side (mitochondrial DNS or mDNS), the oldest surviving branches of the human genetic family tree. They are said to have separated from the rest of the population about 90 000 and 150 000 years ago, and over a period of thousands of years, migrated to southern Africa where they lived in genetic isolation until 40 000 years ago. This is according to the Genographic Project and its initial findings published in the American Journal of Human Genetics. Researchers travelled the world to collect the mDNS of 624 indigenous people. According to Dr. Spencer Wells, director of the Genographic Project, the Khoisan's long isolation gave them a unique appearance.