Lock of hair pins down early migration of AboriginesBy Leila Battison
A lock of hair has helped scientists to piece together the genome of Australian Aborigines and rewrite the history of human dispersal around the world.
DNA from the hair demonstrates that indigenous Aboriginal Australians were the first to separate from other modern humans, around 70,000 years ago.
This challenges current theories of a single phase of dispersal from Africa.
An international team of researchers published their findings in the journal Science.
While the Aboriginal populations were trailblazing across Asia and into Australia, the remaining humans stayed around North Africa and the Middle East until 24,000 years ago.
Only then did they spread out and colonise Europe and Asia, but the indigenous Aborigines had been established in Australia for 25,000 years.
Australian Aborigines therefore have a longer claim to the land in which they now live than any other population known.
The research also highlights the exciting future possibilities of comparing the genomes of multiple individuals to track migration of small indigenous groups.
Tiny genetic differences
Archaeological remains are known from Australia from around 50,000 years ago, putting a maximum age of the Aborigines' settlement there.
But the history of their journey and their relationship with the indigenous people of Asia and Europe had not been solved.
Full article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15020799
................................................................SBS News - Indigenous links to first nomadsby WORLDNEWSAUSTRAILIA
DNA has helped reveal that Australian Aboriginals descend from the first modern humans to walk out of Africa.
Link: SBS News - Indigenous links to first nomads