New DNA evidence suggests a new timeline needs to be drawn up for human evolution with the discovery of DNA evidence that the oldest known common male ancestor is 340,000 years old. This is more than twice as old as previous estimates.
According to a report published in the American Journal of Human Genetics, while “all previously compared DNA samples pointed to a common Y chromosome traced back to man who lived between 60,000 and 140,000 years ago, samples obtained from a recently deceased African American man in South Carolina named Albert Perry broke the trend, not matching up with this common ancestor.” The sample was actually submitted by one of his relatives to a company called Family Tree DNA for analysis.
"It's a cool discovery," Jon Wilkins of the Ronin Institute in Montclair, N.J., told New Scientist. "We geneticists have been looking at Y chromosomes about as long as we've been looking at anything. Changing where the root of the Y-chromosome tree is at this point is extremely surprising."
After the initial tests on Perry’s DNA, geneticists at the University of Arizona conducted further tests to confirm the anomaly. The Y chromosome in Perry’s test matched up with those of 11 men who all lived in one village in Cameroon.
University of Arizona researcher Michael Hammer says "Perry’s DNA suggests there may have been an earlier species of humans that went extinct, but not before interbreeding with the more modern version of man."
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