A paper pubished in Science (Gallego Llorente et al., 2015. Ancient Ethiopian genome reveals extensive Eurasian admixture throughout the African continent, Science DOI: 10.1126/science.aad2879 two days ago, reveals what has been suspected for some time: All Africans have a Eurasian component in their genes.
The abstract says so clearly:
Characterizing genetic diversity in Africa is a crucial step for most analyses reconstructing the evolutionary history of anatomically modern humans. However, historic migrations from Eurasia into Africa have affected many contemporary populations, confounding inferences. Here, we present a 12.5x coverage ancient genome of an Ethiopian male (‘Mota’) who lived approximately 4,500 years ago. We use this genome to demonstrate that the Eurasian backflow into Africa came from a population closely related to Early Neolithic farmers, who had colonized Europe 4,000 years earlier. The extent of this backflow was much greater than previously reported, reaching all the way to Central, West and Southern Africa, affecting even populations such as Yoruba and Mbuti, previously thought to be relatively unadmixed, who harbor 6-7% Eurasian ancestry.
As it is behind a pay wall, I checked the web and found the following additional data:
- "the scientists believe up to 25% of the DNA of modern Africans can be traced back to this event."
- "... if you go to the corners of Africa, all the way to West Africa or South Africa, even populations that we really thought were purely African have 5-6% of their genome that dates back to these western Eurasian farmers."
- "...it is also interesting to discover now that even sub-Saharan Africans have a bit (0.3-0.7%) of Neanderthal ancestry."
Who knows, perhaps this is the first step into a serious analysis of the real roots of mankind, and may lead to a revision of the conclusions of another recent paper (L. Pagani, 2015, Tracing the Route of Modern Humans out of Africa by Using 225 Human Genome Sequences from Ethiopians and Egyptians Cell):
"... the Ethiopian and Egyptian genomes showed different patterns. In particular, the Egyptian0 genomes displayed a more recent split from both the West African (21,000 years ago) and the non-African (55,000 years ago) genomes than did the Ethiopian genomes (37,000 and 65,000 years ago, respectively). This suggests a higher similarity between non-African and Egyptian components than between non-African and Ethiopian components, which is consistent with the fact that Egypt is the last stop on the way out of Africa. Such split dates also hint at a recent interaction between Egyptians and West Africans..."
They too noticed a similarity between Egyptian and Eurasian genes, but their conclusions are different.
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