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Humanitys DNA Uncredited/AP

In this Feb. 20, 1962 file photo, an elder warrior with a stone axe over his shoulder stands over the Baliem Valley in the central mountain range of Papua New Guinea. New research published Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016 suggests that the genetic ancestry of people living outside Africa can be traced almost completely to a single exodus of humans from that continent long ago. But some native islanders of Papua New Guinea may also carry a tiny legacy from an earlier exit.

September 21, 2016

Human DNA tied mostly to single exodus from Africa long ago

Homo sapiens arose about 200,000 years ago

NEW YORK — New research suggests that the genetic ancestry of people living outside Africa can be traced almost completely to a single exodus of humans from that continent long ago.

One of the three new studies found a tiny genetic legacy from an earlier exit may persist in natives of Papua New Guinea, in the southwestern Pacific Ocean.

Our species, Homo sapiens, arose about 200,000 years ago in Africa. From there it spread out to colonize the world. Scientists are still trying to reconstruct that expansion.

The new work looked at the DNA of modern-day people around the world. It used sophisticated analysis to estimate when ancient populations split off from each other.