Researchers have undertaken an in-depth look at genetic variation across different populations, mapping out 650,000 common, single-letter genetic variations in 938 individuals from 51 populations. They then use that information to trace the migration of the first modern humans--lending support to the theory that the first humans moved out of Africa across the globe.
The study, published this week in the journal Science, has applications on a smaller scale as well. The team of geneticists was able to unravel some of the genetic ancestries of eight different European groups and four groups in the Middle East. "This data set allows the most comprehensive characterization to date of human genetic variation," the researchers say. In this segment, Joe Palca talks with Richard Myers, one of the authors of the report, about the challenges of using data withi the human genome to map out human diversity.
Produced by Karin Vergoth