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Genographic Project scientists in Melbourne, Australia have just published their exciting new finds from years of work across the vast southern continent. Detailed in a new paper in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Dr. Robert Mitchell, student Nano Nagle, and their team of researchers worked with 657 Aboriginal Australian men mapping and dating the genetic diversity of the Australian Y chromosome.
Earlier work in Australia had suggested that Aborigines were descendants from the first migrants to leave Africa some 60 thousand years ago. The hypothesis suggests that when modern humans left Africa they remained in tropical regions, migrating north, then east and south around the Indian Ocean through India, Southeast Asia, eventually reaching Australia. Thus, understanding the origins of Australians is paramount to mapping the earliest human migrations.
The Genographic study of Australian Aborigines included larger wider coverage of the continent than any previous work, and the percentage of rare haplogroups — genetically-related groups who share a common ancestor — was high and geographically distributed. A total of 292 individuals belonged to one of several uniquely Australian haplogroups: C-M347, K-M526, S-P308 or M-186 found throughout Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territories.
Read full, original post: Genographic Researchers in Australia Uncover Unique Branches of the Human Family Tree