Friday, October 22, 2010

Mitochondrial Eve

       Using Mitochondrial DNA passed down from mother to child one can trace their ancestry back to our first matrilineal descendant. This individual is referred to as Mitochondrial Eve. Mitochondrial Eve is our earliest female ancestor whom all human beings are descended from. By using Mitochondrial DNA, it has been determined that she probably hailed from East Africa. 

 Man from Angola
Korean Woman 

Woman from Eygpt

Woman from the Native American Navajo Tribe

Man from Ireland

Indian Woman

        The wide range of diversity in the human species can be attributed to the migration of our ancestors.  As our ancestors migrated they developed characteristics that corresponded with their new environment.  People such as the man from Angola (pictured above) are related to ancestors who did not migrate out of Africa.  Others, such as the man shown above from Ireland, have lighter skin because their ancestors did migrate out of Africa. The amount of sun our ancestors were exposed to on a daily basis helps to determine skin tone. The amount of sun one is exposed to determines melanin production, which in turn determines skin tone.  The more sun a person’s ancestor was exposed to, the darker their skin tone will be.

       Given the global trends of the human species today, the general appearance of a person 1,000 years from now will most likely consist of these characteristics: dark hair and eyes, a medium skin complexion and a medium height.

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