Thursday, September 22, 2016

Genetics and Human Migration

     For the past decade, geneticists have been studying the link between migration patterns of human and genomic variation. 

     What is understood today is that Africa is the human's evolutionary birth place. But what is not completely understood is how migration patterns have influenced or effected our genomic variation. To study this, scientists have collected genomic data for individuals from more than 270 populations across the world. Genomic data was collected from countries including Africa, Australia, New Guinea. Countries including Australia and New Guinea contain some of the earliest archaeological and fossil evidence of modern humans outside of Africa, and therefore it was important to study these locations as part of this research.

     After analyzing the collected data, scientists were able to conclude an approximate time period that different populations migrated from Africa. For example, current studies show that about 2% of genomes from individuals of Papua New Guinean ancestry, their ancestors separated from Africa earlier than Eurasians did. Eurasian countries- land lying between Asia and Europe- include Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan.

     In addition to narrowing down the patterns of human migration, scientists have also discovered something else. Studying ancient DNA has shown that many large-scale populations have disappeared without a trace, except for their bones. This means that populations that used to live in Eurasia, for example, are no longer traceable by science.

    To discover migration patterns and connections between different countries and genomic variation, has lead to many discoveries and many more questions. However, scientists are still researching more migration patterns, hoping to discover more secrets of our past.

More about human migration and genomic variation is provided below.


No comments:

Post a Comment