What is Mitochondrial Eve Hypothesis?
In 1987, three scientists, Rebecca Cann, Mark Stoneking, and Allan Wilson, published in the journal Nature, their discovery that all humans have a common ancestor who lived in Africa 200,000 years ago. Scientists named her Eve. Mitochondrial DNA is a type of DNA located in the mitochondria of a cell. Mitochondrial DNA is passed down to offspring only from its mother. It is thought that all people living today can trace some of their genetic heritage through their mothers back to this woman because of common mtDNA. This does not mean that she is the ancestral mother of everyone to come after her, but she is just the closest relative. No one today is related to anyone else from Eve's time because they simply had all sons or no children. Cann, Stoneking, and Wilson inferred that Eve was an African woman because when they grouped test subjects by most closely related DNA, they eventually narrowed it down to two groups, Africans and people from other parts of the world.