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Nat Genet. 2007 Oct;39(10):1251-5. Epub 2007 Sep 9.

Measurement of the human allele frequency spectrum demonstrates greater genetic drift in East Asians than in Europeans.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


Large data sets on human genetic variation have been collected recently, but their usefulness for learning about history and natural selection has been limited by biases in the ways polymorphisms were chosen. We report large subsets of SNPs from the International HapMap Project that allow us to overcome these biases and to provide accurate measurement of a quantity of crucial importance for understanding genetic variation: the allele frequency spectrum. Our analysis shows that East Asian and northern European ancestors shared the same population bottleneck expanding out of Africa but that both also experienced more recent genetic drift, which was greater in East Asians.

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