Y Chromosome Adam and Mitochondrial Eve
aren't the first human man and woman either, but they are real people whose Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA have been passed down with modifications to every living male and female.
Of course, as with Mitochondrial Eve
, there were other women alive at this time, but for whatever reasons their genetic lines were lost.
With style names inspired by Mitochondrial Eve
-- the universal matrilineal ancestor to all humans who is believed to have lived over 140,000 years ago in what is now Ethiopia, Kenya or Tanzania.
Working from the premise that Homo sapiens emerged 150,000 years ago in Africa from Mitochondrial Eve
, Shlain argues that humans succeeded because of the dramatic change in hormonal cycle that Eve and her female successors experienced.
Scientists on a 13-year study of DNA - the building blocks of life - found that the blueprint for females came from one woman they've dubbed Mitochondrial Eve
, who lived in Africa 143,000 years ago.
He points to a Mitochondrial Eve
, who lived in Africa about 150,000 years ago and from whom all people descended.
He suspects that the Y chromosome mutation rate is slower than that assumed by Underhill's team, meaning that Y guy lived closer to the time of mitochondrial Eve
However, even some admirers of mitochondrial Eve
now say that the jury is out on whether state-of-the-art DNA studies can live up to their early billing.
But his group estimates that the number of human females at the time mitochondrial Eve
lived ranged from 1,000 to no more than 10,000.