Thursday, February 15, 2007

(Staggering) Out Of Africa

An African origin for the intimate association between humans and Helicobacter pylori. 2007. B. Liz et al. Nature online, February 7, 2007

The migration paths taken by modern man as he colonized the world 60,000 years ago, Homo sapiens left his original home in East Africa - taking the bacterium Helicobacter pylori with him. Kyears = thousands of years. Image: Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology
From the press release:

When man made his way out of Africa some 60,000 years ago to populate the world, he was not alone: He was accompanied by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which causes gastritis in many people today. Together, man and the bacterium spread throughout the entire world.

Metal Men © DC Comics
The researchers also discovered that differences developed in the genetic makeup of the bacteria populations, just as it did in that of the various peoples of the world. This has also given scientists new insight into the paths taken by man as he journeyed across the Earth.