A generation of human genetics & genomics

By Razib Khan | October 8, 2010 1:50 am

If you are interested in human genomics and the types of papers I often review and discuss in this space, there’s a chapter of Vogel and Motulsky’s Human Genetics: Problems and Approaches you might find of interest. And, I just noticed that you can get it online (if you have academic access). It’s titled: Genetics and Genomics of Human Population Structure. Here’s the abstract:

Recent developments in sequencing technology have created a flood of new data on human genetic variation, and this data has yielded new insights into human population structure. Here we review what both early and more recent studies have taught us about human population structure and history. Early studies showed that most human genetic variation occurs within populations rather than between them, and that genetically related populations often cluster geographically. Recent studies based on much larger data sets have recapitulated these observations, but have also demonstrated that high-density genotyping allows individuals to be reliably assigned to their population of origin. In fact, for admixed individuals, even the ancestry of particular genomic regions can often be reliably inferred. Recent studies have also offered detailed information about the composition of specific populations from around the world, revealing how history has shaped their genetic makeup. We also briefly review quantitative models of human genetic history, including the role natural selection has played in shaping human genetic variation.

If you’re a “close reader” of the blog posts here you won’t see too much that’s new, but the authors of the chapter really tie many points of interest together well, and they bring a historical perspective to it, going back to The History and Geography of Human Genes. A worthwhile 25 pages if you’re interested in current developments in human genetics and genomics, but can’t follow what’s going on because of the lack of context or technical confusions.

Here’s a chart reproduced from The History and Geography of Human Genes:


And now a little less than 20 years later, a similar chart, but with fine-grained positioning of individuals instead of just relationships between populations:



Comments (8)

  1. if you do not have access, and you really want to read the chapter, you may find it here. but you need to enter the following authentication – user name : reo5oi54jkw password : sdkl9er43n45nd

  2. Sandgroper

    #1 – Razib, I truly appreciate your effort, but those are not working for me.

  3. B.B.

    #1 – Razib, I truly appreciate your effort, but those are not working for me.

    Try clicking this: http://reo5oi54jkw:sdkl9er43n45nd@www.gnxp.com/i67yjgt54iuui/geneticsgenomics.pdf

  4. Sandgroper


    Must be this parallel universe I’m living in.

  5. Antonio

    Do you think that Cavalli-Sforza would update the data from his “The History and Geography of Human Genes” for a new edition? Would be cool, isn’t it?

  6. cavalli-sforza is an 88 year old man not in the best of health.

  7. Antonio

    I see, so what would be an equivalent to his masterpiece but using update information? I know that the information is available at many different places but it would be nice to have something that put the pieces together. Thanks, apr.


Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Gene Expression

This blog is about evolution, genetics, genomics and their interstices. Please beware that comments are aggressively moderated. Uncivil or churlish comments will likely get you banned immediately, so make any contribution count!

About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at http://www.razib.com


See More


RSS Razib’s Pinboard

Edifying books

Collapse bottom bar