Genetic data are increasingly important in studies of recent human evolution.
DNA sequences from skeletal remains of the enigmatic Andaman Islanders was used for reconstructing their evolutionary history. This work is now being extended to other populations.
However, the use of DNA to calibrate human evolution remains highly controversial because assumptions are made about the rate of change.
Museum scientists are collaborating with geneticists estimating the time scale of recent human dispersals around the world.and anthropologists
Scientists are then comparing metrical with genetic data to assess an evolutionary split between Neanderthals and modern humans. The split seems to have taken place about 400,000 years ago.