October 14, 2004

Review article on European genetic diversity

A review article is a convenient summary of current knowledge on European genetic diversity, with 204 references which will be useful to anyone interested in the subject.

Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics
Vol. 5: 119-150 (Volume publication date September 2004)

AFRICANS AND ASIANS ABROAD: Genetic Diversity in Europe

Guido Barbujani and ­ David B. Goldstein


Besides its obvious intrinsic value, knowledge of population history, and of the demographic and evolutionary changes that accompany it, has proven fundamental to address applied research in human genetics. In this review we place current European genetic diversity in the context of the global human genome diversity and review the evidence supporting a recent African origin of the Europeans. We then discuss the results and the interpretation of genetic studies attempting to quantify the relative importance of various gene flow processes, both within Europe and from Asia into Europe, focusing especially on the initial, Paleolithic colonization of the continent, and on later, Paleolithic postglacial and Neolithic dispersals. Finally, we discuss how knowledge of the patterns of genetic diversity in Europe, and of their inferred generating processes, can be extremely useful in planning health care and in biomedical research.


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