Trinicenter TrinbagoPan RootsWomen HowComYouCom

Fewer than 50 people founded Europe
Posted: Wednesday, May 9, 2001

Fewer than 50 people founded the entire population of Europe, according to a new and accurate way to read demographic history from the genome.

Scientists previously believed that the 500 million people that live in Europe today are descendants of about 10,000 people who left Africa around 100,000 years ago.

But scientists from the Whitehead Institute at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts have found so much genetic evidence of inbreeding, they believe all Europeans probably descended from fewer than about 50 people who interbred together over about 30 generations. This select group may have left Africa about 60,000 years ago.

Their data comes from maps of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which are the single letter differences in DNA which can exist between people.

The discovery is good news for medicine because the unexpectedly low degree of genetic variation will make it far easier to isolate the genes that underpin common diseases. "I'm very, very excited about this," said Eric Lander of the Whitehead Institute. [More]

Print Printer friendly version
Email page Send page by E-Mail


Previous Page | Zimbabwe Watch | Historical Views | Home     Back to top

Page 1 - Page 2 - Page 3 - Page 4 - Page 5 - Page 6

NOTICE: All articles are the copyright property of the writers. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C., section 107, some material on this site is provided without permission from the copyright owner, only for purposes of criticism, comment, scholarship and research under the "fair use" provisions of federal copyright laws. Visit: for more details. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. - Another 100% non-profit Website
Africa Speaks

Map of Africa

Black African Focus

U.S Coup in Haiti

Zimbabwe: Land Reform and Mugabe

Trinidad and Tobago News


Message Board