How We Found African Eve with Mitochondrial DNA

A look back at how we discovered all humans today come from a small group who lived in Africa 200 thousand years ago

ScienceDuuude
Sep 30, 2020 · 12 min read
Side views of African and Israeli Homo sapiens skulls (Stringer, 2016)

1. Introducing Eve

2. Evolution and evolutionary trees…

Illustration of the evolution of the equine forefoot (Marsh, 1874)

3. Using molecular clocks to build better evolutionary trees…

A phylogenetic tree built using hemoglobin mutations (Zuckerkandl and Pauling, 1965)
An evolutionary molecular clock using different proteins (Wilson et al., 1977)

4. Building molecular clocks with mitochondrial DNA…

A chondrocyte showing its nucleus (N) and mitochondria (M) (Robert Hunt, Wikimedia Commons).
Two mitochondria from mammalian lung tissue (Louisa Howard, Wikimedia Commons)

5. Dating Eve…

6. Barbarians at the gate

7. Buttressing the walls…

8. Savages circle around the wagons

9. Where are we with Eve today

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ScienceDuuude

Written by

Husband, dad, scientist, loves to share sciency stuff and goofiness. Please follow me: https://twitter.com/DuuudeScience

Exploring History

Exploring History is a publication about history. Instead of focusing on any particular time period of history, we explore anything about the past that helps our readers understand the world they live in today. We pay special attention to historiographical rigor and balance.

ScienceDuuude

Written by

Husband, dad, scientist, loves to share sciency stuff and goofiness. Please follow me: https://twitter.com/DuuudeScience

Exploring History

Exploring History is a publication about history. Instead of focusing on any particular time period of history, we explore anything about the past that helps our readers understand the world they live in today. We pay special attention to historiographical rigor and balance.

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