A maternal ancestor to all living humans called mitochondrial Eve likely lived about 200,000 years ago, at roughly the same time anatomically modern humans are believed to have emerged, a new review study confirms.
The results are based on analyses of mitochondrial DNA. Found in the energy-producing centers of cells, mitochondrial DNA is only passed down the maternal line, and can be traced back to one woman.
However, this doesn't mean she was the first modern woman, rather it indicates that only her descendants survive to the present day.
"There is always some other female that predated mitochondrial Eve, whose DNA didn't make it up to modernity," said Marek Kimmel, a professor of statistics at Rice University. "So the age of the mitochondrial Eve is always less than the age of the true, first female modern human."
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I contacted Marek Kimmel and asked him to answer 3 simple questions about this and he never responded. I wanted to know how a scientist confirms this assumption: "she was the first modern woman" but only because her descendants were the only ones to survive to the present day.
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