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population genetics

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.

References

- Handley LJ, Manica A, Goudet J, Balloux F. Going the distance: human population genetics in a clinal world. Trends Genet. 2007 Sep;23(9):432-9. PMID: #17655965#

- Excoffier L, Heckel G. Computer programs for population genetics data analysis: a survival guide. Nat Rev Genet. 2006 Oct;7(10):745-58. PMID: #16924258#

- Harding RM, McVean G. A structured ancestral population for the evolution of modern humans. Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2004 Dec;14(6):667-74. PMID: #15531162#

- 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#

- Tishkoff SA, Kidd KK. Implications of biogeography of human populations for ’race’ and medicine. Nat Genet. 2004 Nov;36(11 Suppl):S21-7. PMID: #15507999#