BEIJING, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) – After examining Herpes virus’ genome, scientists confirmed that early humans first emerged on the African continent before spreading out in disparate groups across the globe.
The study, published in PLOS One, examined strains of herpes simplex virus type 1 collected throughout North America, Europe, Africa and Asia in order to gain insight on early human migration patterns.
"We found that all of the African isolates cluster together, all the virus from the Far East, Korea, Japan, China clustered together, all the viruses in Europe and America, with one exception, clustered together," Curtis Brandt, professor of medical microbiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and senior author of the study, said in a statement.
Using high-capacity genetic sequencing, University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists were able to develop a “family tree” for the Herpes virus, emerging in Africa, bottlenecking in the Middle East and ultimately spreading to Asia, Europe and the Americas.
Interestingly, the study also offers some evidence for the theory that Native Americans are descended from Asian peoples who crossed a land bridge from far eastern Siberia into the Americas thousands of years ago.