You may have used sites like Ancestry to build your family tree and looked back to find out how your relationship came to be. All family trees tell a story. In pre-internet days, this work involved hunting down microcards and birth, death and immigration records. Now a fascinating global story has emerged in Science: the largest family tree ever created. Genealogists from the University of Oxford, MIT's Broad Institute and Harvard University have created a tree of 27 million ancestors that traces human evolution and migration back a million years. The project emerged from the great success of DNA sequencing and big data computing in recent decades. The researchers took genomic data from 3,609 modern and 215 ancient human populations. Some of these specimens are as old as 100,000 years. This massive data required a highly innovative algorithm from the University of Oxford's Big Data Institute. The algorithm notes genetic variations and guesses backwards to trace where they came from as the genome evolved and ancient humans moved. The end result maps 27 million ancestors. Anthony Wilder Wohns, a postdoctoral fellow at MIT who led the study, emphasized the importance of the map in a statement. "Essentially, we reconstruct the genomes of our ancestors and use them to form a huge network of relationships. We can then estimate when and where those ancestors lived. The strength of our approach is that it makes very few assumptions about the underlying data and can. include both modern and ancient DNA samples." He told Reuters: "The earliest ancestors we know come from a geographic location that is in modern-day Sudan. These ancestors lived more than a million years ago - much older than the current estimate of the age of Homo sapiens - 250,000 to 300,000 years ago. So parts of our genome are inherited from people we wouldn't recognize as modern humans." Yan Wong, an evolutionary geneticist at the Big Data Institute and lead author of the study, noted, "We basically created a huge family. tree, the genealogy of all mankind, modeling as closely as possible the history from which everything was born. genetic variant found in humans today. This genealogy allows us to see how each person's genetic sequence is related to each other at each point in the genome." Such algorithms can be used to map the evolution of other species, including plants and animals. Accuracy will improve with technology, and the team hopes to continue to update the tree as genomes can be added.. Although some of the tree findings are not supported by archaeological evidence, it highlights the ways in which traditional historical approaches and cutting-edge science can connect the human story. It consists of 27 million ancestors and goes back a million years.
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