Monday, 13 January 2014

The first white man

DNA shows the first white man is a modern individual scarcely dead ten thousand years.  The Out-of-Africa movements that brought Our Kind Of People were basic black.  A single mutation in gene SLC24A5 explains a third of the colour change. A second gene right next to it (A111T) is co-inherited and this one has been tracked back to a single individual from near the Middle East and India.  Modern man expanded into Europe and Asia about 40,000 years ago and it was much later that whiteness showed up, perhaps favouring people who could easily make vitamin D from the reduced sunlight available further north.

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