Molecular anthropology and the origin of modern humans
Sheng GL, Lai XL, Wang W.
Institute of Life Sciences, China University of Geosciences,
Wuhan 430 074, China.
Yi Chuan. 2004 Sep;26(5):721-8.
ABSTRACTSince Watson & Crick put forward the double-helix model of DNA structure and hereditary mechanism in 1953, it is generally accepted that this event marks the birth of modern molecular biology. This new field of biology has experienced a flourishing development in the past 50 years. On one hand, the development of molecular biology has been deeply influencing many relative fields; on the other hand, its own proceeding pace has been accelerated by the reaction from the other fields. Anthropology is one of the fields most deeply impacted by the theory and method of molecular biology. Most importantly, molecular anthropology was born as a result of combination of molecular biology, anthropology as well as paleoanthropology. This new branch provides reliable method and vital direction for paleoanthropology. This paper systematically reviews the history, principle and method of molecular anthropology. Two hypotheses on the origin of modern human, which include "out-of-African theory" and "theory of multiregional evolution" are also discussed for the purpose of showing how molecular anthropology is applied in paleoanthropology.Biohappiness
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