How scientists discovered we all hail from Botswana

We learned this week that all modern humans originated in Botswana.

A study by researchers shows that ancestors of Homo sapiens began some 200,000 years ago south of the Greater Zambezi River Basin.

But HOW did they find this out?

The Human Evolution Research Institute's Rebecca Ackermann helps sheds some light on this recent discovery.

[Listen to the full interview below]

They take DNA from living people, they were focussing particularly on people of Khoisan descent...and throw it in with other genetic information.

Rebecca Ackermann, Deputy director - Human Evolution Research Institute

Then they correlated that with what they understand environments would have looked like 'X' number of years ago.

Rebecca Ackermann, Deputy director - Human Evolution Research Institute

But despite the apparent significance of the discovery, Ackermann says overall, it's not a great study.

They make claims based on a very small group of DNA...they also try to use the distribution of modern human diversity to say something about the location of people in the past.

Rebecca Ackermann, Deputy director - Human Evolution Research Institute

Listen to the full conversation below:


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