131 pages, 21 colour & 5 b/w illustrations
Since the appearance of modern humans in Africa around 200 000 years ago, we have migrated around the globe and accumulated genetic variations that affect various traits, including our appearance, skin color, food tolerance, and susceptibility to different diseases. Large-scale DNA sequencing is now allowing us to map the patterns of human genetic variation more accurately than ever before, trace our ancestries, and develop personalized therapies for particular diseases. It is also reinforcing the idea that human populations are far from homogeneous, are highly intermixed, and do not fall into distinct races or castes that can be defined genetically.
Human Variation provides a state-of-the-art view of human genetic variation and what we can infer from it, surveying the genetic diversity seen in Africa, Europe, the Americas, and India. The contributors discuss what this can tell us about human history and how it can be used to improve human health. They also caution against assumptions that differences between individuals always stem from our DNA, stressing the importance of nongenetic forces and pointing out the limits of our knowledge. Human Variation is thus essential reading for all human geneticists and anyone interested in how we differ and what this means.
Perspectives on Human Variation through the Lens of Diversity and Race
What Type of Person Are You? Old-Fashioned Thinking Even in Modern Science
Kenneth M. Weiss and Brian W. Lambert
Social Diversity in Humans: Implications and Hidden Consequences for Biological Research
Demographic Events and Evolutionary Forces Shaping European Genetic Diversity
Krishna R. Veeramah and John Novembre
Genetic Variation and Adaptation in Africa: Implications for Human Evolution and Disease
Felicia Gomez, Jibril Hirbo and Sarah A. Tishkoff
A Genomic View of Peopling and Population Structure of India
Partha P. Majumder and Analahba Basu
How Genes Have Illuminated the History of Early Americans and Latino Americans
Can Genetics Help Us Understand Indian Social History?
Race in Biological and Biomedical Research
Richard S. Cooper
Personalized Medicine and Human Genetic Diversity
Yi-Fan Lu, David B. Goldstein, Misha Angrist, and Gianpiero Cavalleri
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Aravinda Chakravarti is Director, Center for Complex Disease Genomics, McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine, and Professor of Medicine of Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Chakravarti's is a human geneticist and a computational biologist renowned for his studies of predisposing genetic factors in complex human diseases as diabetes, heart disease and mental illness. He is the 2008 President of the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG). Dr. Chakravarti is one of the Editors-in-Chief of Genome Research, and serves on the Advisory and Editorial Boards of numerous national and international journals, boards and societies. He is also a past member of the NIH National Advisory Council of the National Human Genome Research Institute, chaired the NIH Subcommittee on the 3rd 5-year Genome Project Plan, and continues to serve on several NIH panels.