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Scientists use genetics, climate reconstructions to track global spread of modern humans out of Africa

| September 21, 2012

Research indicates the out-of-Africa spread of humans was dictated by the appearance of favourable climatic windows. By integrating genetics with high resolution historical climate reconstructions, scientists have been able to predict the timing and routes taken by modern humans during their expansion out of Africa. Their research reveals that the spread of humans out of Africa was dictated by climate, with their entry into Europe possibly delayed by competition with Neanderthals. The research is published today, 17 September, in the journal PNAS. Dr Anders Eriksson, from the University of Cambridge, the lead author of the paper said: “By combining extensive genetic information with climate and vegetation models, we were able to build the most detailed reconstruction of human history so far.”
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