Africa: Peering Deep Into the Genomes of Africans

A computerised render of DNA (file photo).
analysis

One of the most extensive genomic studies ever done in African populations has uncovered three million new genetic variants, revealing new insights into the diversity and history of the continent and its people.

In a new study published Wednesday afternoon in Nature the whole genomes of 426 people from 13 African countries were analysed. Their ancestries represent 50 ethnolinguistic groups from across the continent.

Prof Michèle Ramsay, director of the Sydney Brenner Institute for Molecular Bioscience in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Wits University, explained the importance of discovering three million novel genetic variants to Maverick Citizen: "What is remarkable is that every time we study African genomes we discover many novel variants, even though the databases are keeping track of all known variants from research done worldwide. European populations are...

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