Thursday 7 April 2005
Human genetic variation
Global human genetic variation is greatly influenced by geography, with genetic differentiation between populations increasing with geographic distance and within-population diversity decreasing with distance from Africa.
In fact, these ’clines’ can explain most of the variation in human populations. Despite this, population genetics inferences often rely on models that do not take geography into account, which could result in misleading conclusions when working at global geographic scales.
Geographically explicit approaches have great potential for the study of human population genetics.
Foster MW, Sharp RR. Beyond race: towards a whole-genome perspective on human populations and genetic variation. Nat Rev Genet. 2004 Oct;5(10):790-6. PMID: 15510170
Jorde LB, Wooding SP. Genetic variation, classification and ’race’. Nat Genet. 2004 Nov;36(11 Suppl):S28-33. PMID: 15508000