Radiocarbon dating hominids

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As recombination occurs in each generation, the bits of Neanderthal ancestry in modern human genomes becomes smaller and smaller over time.

Genetic changes from mutation and recombination provide two distinct clocks, each suited for dating different evolutionary events and timescales.

However, there are millions of differences between humans and chimpanzees; our last common ancestor lived over six million years ago.

Recombination, also known as crossing-over, is the other main way DNA accumulates changes over time.

Geneticists estimate that there are 1.5-2 million mutational differences between Neanderthals and modern humans.

Applying the mutation clock to this count suggests the groups initially split between 750,000 and 550,000 years ago.

These “recent” events (in evolutionary time) include gene flow between distinct human populations, the rise of beneficial adaptations or the emergence of genetic diseases.

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Comparison of DNA between you and your sibling would show relatively few mutational differences because you share ancestors – mom and dad – just one generation ago.In humans, about 36 recombination events occur per generation, one or two per chromosome.As this happens every generation, segments inherited from a particular individual get broken into smaller and smaller chunks.When scientists say that modern humans emerged in Africa about 200,000 years ago and began their global spread about 60,000 years ago, how do they come up with those dates?Traditionally researchers built timelines of human prehistory based on fossils and artifacts, which can be directly dated with methods such as radiocarbon dating and Potassium-argon dating.

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