Study by Singapore students solves Stone Age puzzle

Stanford University duo find answer to 2,000-year-long drop in genetic diversity


The answer to a Stone Age event that has puzzled anthropologists, biologists and sociologists alike has been found by two Singaporean students who recently graduated from Stanford University.

The event, known as the Neolithic Y-chromosome bottleneck, happened some 7,000 years ago and saw male populations across Africa, Europe and Asia dwindling down to one-twentieth the original size, so much so that the genetic diversity of the Y-chromosome in males - passed down from fathers to their sons - plummeted with it.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 26, 2018, with the headline 'Study by S'pore students solves Stone Age puzzle'. Subscribe