Scientists have created the largest family tree: reveals the origin of mankind
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Researchers claim they have been able to reconstruct the genomes of our ancestors and use them to create a vast network of relationships on the planet.
Most of us are familiar with the idea of genealogical tracking tree using DNA analysis and genomics – today they are actively used to search for family ties, as well as to solve high-profile crimes, writes IFL Science.
In a new study, scientists from the Big Data Institute at Oxford University have swung at a more global and ambitious analysis – in fact, scientists are working on creating an extensive family tree of all mankind.
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According to study lead author Dr. Anthony Wilder, he and his colleagues are engaged in reconstructing the genomes of our ancestors and using them to create a vast network of relationships. In the course of their research, they came to the conclusion that a section of the desert in the northeast of Sudan, near the Nile River, could be the ancestral home of all people living on the planet.
Evolutionary geneticist and lead author of the study, Dr. Yang Wong, notes that they have managed to create the largest and most detailed family tree, including the genealogy of all mankind. This allowed them to look at how the genetic sequence of each individual person is related to all the others at all points in the genome.
In total, the researchers used data from eight different databases containing human genomes. This allowed them to create a network of nearly 27 million genomes. Note that the researchers used samples of not only modern, but also ancient people who lived in different parts of the planet thousands and hundreds of years ago.
To look for patterns in genetic variation, scientists used cutting-edge technology that allowed them to “predict” where common ancestors might meet on a family tree. In fact, scientists have managed to model as accurately as possible the history that gave rise to all the genetic variations that are present in humans today.
However, this is not the end of the study – the analysis continues. In the future, scientists intend to supplement and improve the existing family tree using millions of additional samples of human genomes.
Researchers believe that with further development of technology they will be able to create the most complete and accurate map that will explain the origin of absolutely all available variations of the human genome.
However, even this will not be the final point of the study – the authors of the genealogical tree of mankind are sure that in the future they will be able to apply this analysis to other species – from orangutans to bacteria. In the future, such a map can give impetus to the development of medical genetics and will cure a number of genetic diseases.