The Null Device

Using mitochondrial DNA and the Y chromosome, geneticists trace humanity back to 10 male and 18 female ancestors: (via robotwisdom; contains diagrams)
A new history of Britain and Ireland by Norman Davies, "The Isles," begins with an account of Cheddar man, an 8,980-year-old skeleton from which mitochondrial DNA was recently extracted. The DNA turned out to match that of Adrian Targett, a teacher in a Cheddar Village school, proving a genetic continuity that, despite numerous invasions, had endured through nine millenniums.
Dr. Wallace discovered that almost all American Indians have mitochondria that belong to lineages he named A, B, C and D. Europeans belong to a different set of lineages, which he designated H through K and T through X. ... In Africa there is a single main lineage, known as L, which is divided into three branches. L3, the youngest branch, is common in East Africa and is believed to be the source of both the Asian and European lineages.

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