A study of genes shows that only 1,280 humans once roamed the Earth

Humanity struggled to survive for 100,000 years during the early Pleistocene, according to researchers who used a computer model to discover a severe population bottleneck in our species’ ancient past.

The bottleneck occurred between 813,000 years ago and 930,000 years ago, reducing the number of ancestral human species to fewer than 1,300 individuals. This problem persisted for 117,000 years, and is consistent with a gap in time in the African and Eurasian human fossil records of that period. The team’s research was around a bottleneck published today in Sciences.

Population bottlenecks These are events in which the total number of species declines sharply, leading to an overall decline in genetic diversity across species. It can cause a loss of genetic diversity Population to become less healthy. Bioengineers can now Synthesis of genetic diversity in animal populations Through cloning and gene editing.

But it is not always the case that population bottlenecks threaten populations – see Kakapo is flightless and sexually inept New Zealand or The endangered vaquita Porpoises, whose main threats are threats presented by humans and humanity itself, rather than small gene pools. Now it appears that one of our hominid ancestors may have been threatened by a similar population cull.

The recent team of researchers developed a tool called rapid nano-time docking (FitCoal) to analyze 3,154 existing genomes from 10 African and 40 non-African populations. The researchers found evidence of a “severe population bottleneck” in each of the 10 African populations that “brought hominid ancestors to the brink of extinction,” the scientists wrote in their paper. The team hypothesizes that the bottleneck may have been due to climate change.

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Nick Ashton, an archaeologist at the British Museum, and Chris Stringer, a paleontologist at the Natural History Museum in London, commented on the study in an article. Expectations – Views condition Published alongside the new research.

“Whatever the cause of the proposed bottleneck, it may be limited in its effects on off-world human populations H. sane descent, or its effects were short-lived,” Ashton and Stringer wrote. “It also means that the cause of the bottleneck was unlikely to be a major environmental event, such as extreme global cooling, because it should have had a widespread impact.”

“However, the study is provocative,” Ashton and Stringer added et al. “It highlights the vulnerability of early human groups, noting that our evolutionary lineage has been nearly wiped out.”

Homo sapiens (Our species) didn’t appear in the fossil record until about 300,000 years ago, meaning a typical population bottleneck would have affected our ancestors. “The researchers point out that the fossils are from Homo heidelbergensis They are among the few in Africa that date back to the Asphyxiation Period, which extended from 950,000 to 650,000 years ago. The team goes so far as to suggest that the bottleneck “likely represents an event that gives rise to the new species.” [last common ancestor] Shared by Denisovans, Neanderthals, and modern humans.

Stringer and Ashton note that some studies suggest the last common ancestor was earlier, but in any case, if a bottleneck of the severity modeled by the team occurred, it could have major impacts on hominin species.

Genetic modeling has become an increasingly useful tool in understanding how ancient human populations spread around the world and mixed with other populations, including other hominin species.

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population Bottlenecks in the recent past Provided hints about how climate changes might affect local communities, for example. Studying ancient DNA alongside the DNA of modern groups may clarify this Human reproduction across the world.

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