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Researchers from the University of Oxford have revealed that the genetic ancestries of many of sub-Saharan Africa's populations are the result of historical DNA mixing events, known as admixture, within the last 4000 years.

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Their study, to be published in the journal eLife, uncovers signatures of these admixture events through a large analysis of DNA from populations across the continent. The discovery provides a foundation for the recent genetic history of the continent, which could aid future studies of non-communicable and infectious diseases, such as malaria.

While admixture has been demonstrated in other regions of the world, the new analysis has allowed the team to characterise sub-Saharan Africa's mixing events in an unprecedented level of detail.

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