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Wars and clan structure may explain a strange biological event 7,000 years ago, Stanford researchers find

Feldman and students photo
Image courtesy of Stanford News Service
Jun 4 2018

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Faculty

Undergraduates Tian Chen Zeng, left, and Alan Aw, right, worked with Marcus Feldman (center), a professor of biology, to show how social structure could explain a genetic puzzle about humans of the Stone Age.

"Starting about 7,000 years ago, something weird seems to have happened to men: Over the next two millennia, recent studies suggest, their genetic diversity –specifically, the diversity of their Y chromosomes – collapsed. So extreme was that collapse that it was as if there were only one man left to mate for every 17 women."