Re: When did "Eve" live??

Roger Dodger (
01 Jan 97 12:41:45 -700

Roger Dodger has this to say about that-

This is the simplest and easiest to understand synopsis of this work
yet. It would be understandable to any High Schooler in either a
Biology or World History class. Many kudos for contributing this
explanation. I am including it in its entirety (which I don't
normally do), along with the question that prompted it, so others that
might have missed it, or are new to the group are sure to see it.

Thanx again

> (Kevin Mackenzie) wrote:

>>Hello everyone,

>>A few years ago I remember hearing about a study (out of California
>>I think) in which the researchers determined (with reasonable
>>confidence) that all modern Homo sapiens have one common maternal
>>ancestor. This was based on a genetic study. Does anyone know the
>>authors or title of any publications on this study? Did the
>>researchers estimate when this "Eve" lived and does anyone know of a
>>similar genetic study performed for male ancestors?

>>Thanks in advance

>The original study was performed by Cann, Stoneking and Wilson (1987)
>in a paper entitled Mitochondrial DNA and Human Evolution, published
>in Nature, Vol 325, pp 31 - 36. There are others thereafter which
>are too numerous to list. It should be easy enough to find, but if
>you'er REALLY nice to me, I may post you a copy (I accept bribes).
>It was not definitive but basedon fairly good principles. Just be
>aware of a few flaws.

>The study was based on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). mtDNA is a remnant
>of DNA left in the mitochondria from when these energy houses of the
>cell were taken up as endosymbionts some ridiculous number of years
>ago. Mitchondria are only passed on from mother to child, no
>paternal mitochondria are inherited, therefore all mtDNA is of
>maternal origin. The only way to do a similar study with an 'Adam'
>would be to use the Y chromosome. Unfortunately this suffers from
>the problem of recombination, which mtDNA does not, and it would
>therefore be dificult to infer lineages from such data.

>The authors estimated 'Eve' to have originated somewhere in Africa
>and that she lived around 140 000 to 290 000 years ago.
>Unfortunately, several of the assumptions made to reach these
>conclusions were suspect. This is not to say that the work was all
>bad. I believed they were/are on the right track, but should have
>been more careful and perhaps taken longer to validate their data.

>I hope this helps!!!

>Keith Norris
>University of the Witwatersrand
>South Africa

Roger Dodger
from the City-State of the Invincible Overlord
Ron's Law - EVERYTHING has to be a BIG DEAL!