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A later date for out-of-Africa trek.

EARLY modern humans may have migrated out of Africa 20,000 years later than was previously thought.

Scientists have come to the conclusion after re-examining key dates in human evolution.

Changes in mitochondrial DNA - genetic material in cells that is passed from mother to offspring - suggest major evolutionary episodes occurred later than had been assumed.

The research implies our species, Homo sapiens, split from Neanderthals 300,000 to 400,000 years ago. Previously this was believed to have occurred around 200,000 earlier. It also indicates that "Mitochondrial Eve" - the African ancestral mother from whom all modern humans are descended - lived 110,000 to 130,000 years ago.
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Sep 4, 2009
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