Tracing our ancestry, Mark Stoneking
Interviewee: Mark Stoneking. Tracing our ancestry.
The bones tell us about what happened in terms of morphology. I mean we look at DNA, and we can say well we trace all of our ancestry back to a common ancestor who lived a 140 to 280,000 years ago, but if you want to ask what that individual was, was that modern human, was it archaic human, was it something else, that information comes from the bones. We can't say anything about what an individual looked like based on their, their DNA sequence. So the fossil record gives us information on when the traits that make up, the actual morphological traits that comprise modern humans, when and where those arose. But, what, neither the genes, nor the bones tell us about, at least directly, is behavior, is what those individuals were doing, what sort of resources might they have been using. How were they, what was the nature of their behavior, what was their group size, what were they relying on \u2013 hunting, fishing, gathering, those sorts of things. That information comes from the archaeological record.
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Geneticist Mark Stoneking, co-author of an early mitochondrial DNA paper, talks about the competing theories of human origins.
Geneticist Mark Stoneking, one of the authors of a controversial 1987 paper on mtDNA, talks about our common female ancestor.
Geneticist Mark Stoneking speaks about the findings of early mitochondrial DNA studies.
Evolutionary geneticist Michael Hammer speaks about the reliance of genetic research on fields such as archeology for reliable time estimates.
Human origins expert Chris Stringer talks about the beginning of the hominid family tree using an exhibit currently installed at the Dolan DNA Learning Center, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
Paleontologist Tim White and David Micklos discuss Ida (Darwinius masillae), the 47 million year-old primate fossil. Ida, who most closely resembles the modern lemur, may be important to understanding evolution and human origins. However, media publicity
Mark Stoneking talks about Jesse James' remains.
This illustration shows the two major mitochondrial DNA lineages. The lower branch includes only African populations. The upper branch has both African and non-African members.
Human origins expert Chris Stringer talks about if Neandertals are our ancestors
Evolutionary geneticist Michael Hammer talks about the limitations of Y-chromosome research and the histories of different genes.