8 March 2018, Carl Zimmer (New York Times)
The genetic mutation arose 7,300 years ago in just one person in West Africa, scientists reported on Thursday. Its advantage: a shield against rampant malaria.
Thousands of years ago, a special child was born in the Sahara. At the time, this was not a desert; it was a green belt of savannas, woodlands, lakes and rivers. Bands of hunter-gatherers thrived there, catching fish and spearing hippos.