“Then, in 1987, Rebecca L. Cann and Allan C. Wilson of the University of California, Berkeley, published a groundbreaking paper based on analyzing the DNA of mitochondria, the cell’s energy-producing organelles, which are passed down through the maternal line. They reported that humans from different populations all descended from a single female in Africa who lived about 200,000 years ago—a finding that immediately made headlines trumpeting the discovery of the “Mitochondrial Eve.” (Despite the Biblical allusion, this Eve was not the first woman: her lineage, though, is all that has survived.)” ~Scientific American, July 08 issue, pg 58
This only begins the material discussed. The article includes both the analytical study of mitochondrial DNA (maternal decent) as well as the less familiar traceability of the Y chromosome, which is passed on paternally to only male children. It also discusses some amazing information about different theory’s including one of Neandertal (or, Neanderthal) and Homo sapiens partaking in inter species breeding.