The Mitochondrial #Eve is the most recent woman from whom all living humans descend. 🧵🔽 Painting of Eve, the first ...
The mitochondrial haplogroup mt-MRCA was split at around 155,000 years ago, which is later than the speciation of Homo sapiens.
The Y-chromosomal #Adam is the male analog to the "Mitochondrial Eve", and is the individual from whom all living humans are patrilineally descended.

The age of the Y-MRCA is subject to substantial uncertainty.
The name "Mitochondrial Eve" alludes to the biblical Eve, but the position of mt-MRCA is not fixed in time, nor does it refer to a "first woman" or "new species".
Early research using molecular clock methods found that human mtDNA mutations occurred 5 - 10 times faster than in nuclear DNA.

This allowed for an analysis of the #evolutionary relationships among gorillas, chimpanzees and humans.
Although the original research had analytical limitations, the estimate on the age of the mt-MRCA has proven robust.

More recent age estimates have remained consistent with the 140 - 200 kya estimate published in 1987.
Scientists can trace ancestry by analysing descendants' DNA, and mtDNA is passed un-mixed from mothers to children of both sexes, along the maternal line. Image
Mitochondrial Eve is an evolutionary branch of the human mitochondrial phylogeny.

She is ancestral to modern humanity and #Neanderthals, and possibly to all members of genus Homo.
The variation of mitochondrial DNA between different people can be used to estimate the time back to a common ancestor, such as Mitochondrial Eve.

This works because mitochondrial DNA accumulates mutations at the rate of approximately one every 3,500 years per nucleotide.
The popular name "mitochondrial Eve" has contributed to a number of popular misconceptions, and several popular science publications have pointed out that the mt-MRCA was not the "first woman" and that her position has been moving forward in the human gene pool over time.
There is a common misconception that Mitochondrial Eve was the only woman alive at the time. However, nuclear DNA studies indicate that there were many other women alive.
The woman who fits the definition of Mitochondrial Eve can change if her mother-daughter line comes to an end, or if she has more than two daughters who have unbroken female lineages that have survived to the present day.

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