Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Genetic history of human populations

Genome-wide insights into the genetic history of human populations by Irina Pugach and Mark Stoneking is one of several intriguing sounding articles have recently shown up in the journal Investigative Genetics.

In this review, we highlight some of the stories that have emerged from the analyses of genome-wide SNP genotyping data concerning the human history of Southern Africa, India, Oceania, Island South East Asia, Europe and the Americas and comment on possible future study directions. We also discuss advantages and drawbacks of using SNP-arrays, with a particular focus on the ascertainment bias, and ways to circumvent it.
In addition to conclusions about technical aspects of analysis the article concludes that:
  ... the commonly held view that after initial dispersals, human populations settled down and were largely isolated until the time of European colonization is no longer tenable. Instead, the history of human populations has always involved migrations, dispersals, contact, and admixture, and we look forward to the stories that future genome-wide studies reveal about ourselves.

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