Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Adam Siepel's group has published a paper in Nature Genetics on new statistical methods for making inferences about ancient human demography from whole-genome sequences. Their analysis reveals that the San, an indigenous group of hunter gatherers from southern Africa, diverged from other human populations earlier than previously thought -- about 130,000 years ago. In comparison, they also estimate that the ancestors of modern Eurasian populations migrated from Africa only about 50,000 years ago, and that the effective population size of the ancestors of all modern humans was ~9,000.
See also the recent Cornell Chronicle article describing the work.