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Nat Rev Genet. 2009 Nov;10(11):745-55. doi: 10.1038/nrg2632. Epub 2009 Oct 13.

Spatial patterns of variation due to natural selection in humans.

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  • 1Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Interdepartmental Program in Bioinformatics, University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095-1606, USA.


Empowered by technology and sampling efforts designed to facilitate genome-wide association mapping, human geneticists are now studying the geography of genetic variation in unprecedented detail. With high genomic coverage and geographic resolution, these studies are identifying loci with spatial signatures of selection, such as extreme levels of differentiation and correlations with environmental variables. Collectively, patterns at these loci are beginning to provide new insights into the process of human adaptation. Here, we review the challenges of these studies and emerging results, including how human population structure has influenced the response to novel selective pressures.

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