By Chris Gignoux and Brenna HennEarly human history was characterized by many rapid, long-distance migrations. But despite our beginnings as travelers, genetic evidence published online last Sunday in Nature indicates that after expanding to all corners of the earth people (at least those in Europe) tended to stay close to home.Close on the heels of similar research published just a few weeks ago (and covered in The Spittoon), John Novembre and colleagues have created a genetic “map” of Europe that closely mirrors the geographic map. Their results will allow scientists to better understand how geography contributes to genetic variation, which is important for both genome-wide association studies and ancestry analyses. hampered by the effects of geography on genetics. For example, a study looking for DNA variants associated with height found spurious evidence of linkage to SNPs that are actually linked to lactose tolerance, because both traits vary along the same NW/SE axis in Europe. The results of this study current study and others like it will help scientists make corrections in their data and increase their ability to detect true associations.
A Different Kind of Gene Mapping: Comparing Genetic and Geographic Structure in Europe: The Return!
September 3, 2008