African mitochondrial DNA tree, Stephen Oppenheimer

Interviewee: Stephen Oppenheimer. Geneticist Stephen Oppenheimer talks about the mitochondrial DNA and Y chromosome lineages of our ancestors. (DNAi Location: Applications > Human origins> Migrations> Videos > Paths out of Africa)

There's only one branch of the African mitochondrial DNA tree, that's called L3 [a human lineage], which is related to all non-African populations. And it appears that L3, split into two outside Africa, around 80,000 years ago, and these two branches have been called M and N, and if you look at all well populations, you'll find either one or both of these, in fact in European populations there's only N, and in all other non-African populations there are both M and N descendants. In the case of the Y chromosome, there's one mutation, M168, which was discovered in Peter Underhill's laboratory, and M168 again, accounts for all non-African populations.

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