Scientists Develop the Largest Family Tree Identifying the Ancestors of Humankind

Science can be incredibly intriguing, especially when the largest ever human genealogical network dating back 100,000 years is created! Using modern and ancient human genomes, researchers have come up with a human family tree that traces back nearly 27 million ancestors.

The Research and Finding

According to CNN, World Report, and U.S. News, an international team of scientists has produced this massive human family tree by combining genetic reports of a total of 3,609 individual genome sequences from a wide range of 215 populations across the globe. This family tree not only identifies ancestors but also shows where they lived.  The leader of the study, Anthony Wilder Wohns, has explained that through this research, a single genealogy is created, which identifies the ancestry of the entirety of humankind and also shows how we’re all related today to each other. He also has informed that the ancient genomes used in this study are from samples dated over 100,000 years ago.

The Process

As per the CNN report, the complex algorithms needed to process this large amount of data involved with this huge scale of research are developed by the scientists at the Big Data Institute of the University of Oxford. One of the principal authors of the study and an evolutionary geneticist from the institute, Yan Wong has explained that this massive study is laying the important groundwork for the next generation of advanced DNA sequencing. He has further elaborated that, as the quality of genome sequences from both ancient and modern DNA samples evolves and improves, the DNA trees will become even more precise, eventually leading the scientists to generate a single and unified family tree. This unified genetic map then will identify the human ancestors and explain the lineage of all the human genetic variations found in the world today.

The Scope

According to a report from Reuters, this study helps demonstrate the diversity of human genetics and establishes the interrelation among people around the world. The researchers have already confirmed that the human species first originated in Africa and then gradually migrated to other parts of the world. As Wohns has informed Reuters, the study had traced back the very earliest ancestors to a geographic location indicating modern Sudan. This unique research is certainly about to reveal more mysteries like this striking information, related to the ancestors of modern humans.