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African and Human Diversity

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On Not Exactly Rocket Science, Ed Yong reports that two new human genomes have been sequenced: that of South African leader Desmond Tutu, and that of !Gubi, a tribal hunter-gatherer. Along with !Gubi, researchers examined the genes of three other Bushmen, and the diversity they observed was “astounding.” Ed writes that there is more genetic variation between any two of these individuals than there is between “a European and an Asian,” and trying “to understand human genetics without understanding Africa is like trying to learn a language by only looking at words starting with z.” On Gene Expression, Razib Khan explains that “all non-Africans likely descend from one migration Out of Africa, so they carried with them only a small proportion of the total genetic variation of the ancient Africans because of the population bottleneck to which they were subjected.” And back on Not Exactly Rocket Science, Ed Yong introduces us to the ancient Inuit “Inuk,” the ninth human to have his genome sequenced before Tutu and !Gubi became ten and eleven.

Links below the fold.