Advancements in molecular biology have made piecing together the history of human evolution easier. Scientists have discovered that human evolution was less linear than previously thought.
Scientists are using molecular biology to understand the differences between stages of human evolution. Mosaic evolution is the idea that genes in an organism, such as hominoid, evolve at different rates.
Researchers are using genomics to study and compare genetic expression in humans and chimpanzees. The two species have numerous genes with similar functions but they are expressed in different ways.
The replacement theory of the origins of humans states that hominids began moving out of Africa after they developed human forms. The multi-regional theory believes genetic exchanges continued to happen after some groups move out of Africa. Molecular biology has helped support the replacement theory.
The discovery that Homo sapiens development can be traced through mitochondrial DNA proved that Neanderthals are not ancestors of Homo sapiens. Neanderthals mitochondrial DNA does not match that of Homo sapiens.
Iceland has kept careful genealogical records since its settlement more than 1,100 years ago. Researchers are able to look for genetic traits and variations within Icelandic families. They are studying ways to target inherited diseases.
Credits: Human Evolution
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Homo sapiens are now the only living representative of what was once a multi-branched bush of hominid species. This session examines mitochondrial Eve and other fossil clues that increasingly point to Africa as the point of origin of our species. How did humans replace their hominid cousins, including Neanderthal, leaving the chimpanzee as our closest living relative?
Length: 29 minutes
Copyright date: ©2003
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