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A Genetic Atlas of Human Admixture History

Posted by Marcus Zillman

A Genetic Atlas of Human Admixture History

Many researchers have studied human DNA and its history, and this has revealed how humans have spread around the globe. This spreading out produces distinct populations, and small genetic differences between separated populations arise (although most variation is still shared among groups). When groups come back together – for example due to migrations or invasions – and have children, this is called genetic admixture, and leaves a characteristic signature in DNA. THeir work uses DNA from many people around the world to identify these mixture events, and find out first, who the groups were that mixed – often to the level of individual countries – and second, when the mixture occurred. Other researchers have developed important tools to look at one or other these questions but their method is the first to do both simultaneously – allowing us to more fully describe events. By using “chromosome painting”, it also offers better power and precision than previously available. They are able to consider complex histories (e.g. several waves of mixing) and have analyzed 95 groups across the globe, producing an “atlas” of mixing dates, places and mixing populations. This has been added to the tools section of Research Resources Subject Tracer™ Information Blog. This will be added to Biological Informatics Subject Tracer™ Information Blog.

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