Mitochondrial Eve

Ancient Human

Born: c. 200,000 B.C.
Birthplace: Africa
Best known as: Possibly the genetic 'mother' of all modern humans

A 1987 article in the journal Nature suggested the existence of a single ancient woman from whom all modern humans inherited mitochondrial genetic material. The primary author, Rebecca Cann, called this woman Eve and said she lived in Africa around the year 200,000 B.C. (Carr did not suggest that Mitochondrial Eve was the first human woman -- only that all later humans shared her genetic material.) The theory has been disputed by other scientists and continues to be explored.

Extra credit:

The full title of the paper printed in Nature was “Mitochondrial DNA and Human Evolution”… Cann was a professor at the University of Hawaii; her co-authors on the paper were Berkeley’s Allan Wilson and Mark Stoneking… Eve takes her name from the Bible’s original woman, Eve… Another genetically interesting Eve was the alleged first human clone, 2002’s Baby Eve.

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More on Mitochondrial Eve from Fact Monster:

  • Mitochondrial Eve - Biography of Mitochondrial Eve, Possibly the genetic 'mother' of all modern humans
  • Baby Eve - Biography of Baby Eve, Allegedly, the first cloned human baby
  • Eve, in genetics - Eve Eve, in genetics, popular term for a theoretical female ancestor of all living people, also ...
  • Selected Biographies: E - Selected biographies of well-known people and fictional characters

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