Beijing Acknowledges Chinese (like everyone else) Originated in Africa

People’s Daily

20 April 2005
Where is the origin of human beings? From where did
the ancestors of today’s ethnic groups worldwide
migrate? An explorative program on human races’
migrations was initiated on April 18.
To uncover the centuries’ mystery, scientists with ten
research centers of the participant countries ¨C
including China, Russia, France, Britain — will
collect 100,000 human DNA samples in five years to
outline an accurate genetic structure of peoples in
the world.
The School of Life Science of Fudan University in east
China’s Shanghai municipality is the only institution
in East Asia and Southeast Asia designated to the
program. It will be dedicated to collect over 10, 000
DNA samples in the region.
China started independently in 1997 on the Chinese
part and has made some achievement, according to Dr.
Li Hui from the School of Life Science of Fudan
University. From the nearly 20, 000 DNA samples
collected on different ethnic groups in China, it is
found that Chinese ancestors set off from northeast
Africa about 50, 000 years ago, across the Middle
East, South Asia and Southeast Asia, arrived in
today’s Yunnan and Guangxi about 30, 000 years before
now.
They evolved into 56 ethnic groups throughout tens of
thousands of years, among whom, Han and Tibetan people
were the latest to branch out therefore were the
closest in terms of blood tie. This provides strong
evidence for the concept that “Han and Tibetan people
had the same ancestors”.
Every cell in the human body has a whole set of
genome, in which 99 percent of the DNA sequence
information is the same and one percent is
individually specific. If the samples are huge in
amount, the one percent of individual information will
converge into a large database through which
scientists can easily find the common characteristics
of different groups.
As for gene security, which draws much concern, Fudan
University has specially established an ethics
committee committed to monitoring the research on the
DNA samples on China’s part. Personal information will
be stored anonymously and can not be shown without
personal password.


http://english.people.com.cn/200504/20/eng20050420_181979.html

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