This is a nice little review of the state of the art in germline mutation rate estimation in humans. This was previously estimated using paleontological calibrations (especially the human/chimp split), but a slower mutation rate emerged on the basis of whole genome data from humans. There may be problems with the latter (because of false positive/negative mutations using whole genome sequencing), but the problem is an important one due to the use of the mutation rate to estimate time depth of common ancestry. In any case, the table on the left summarizes the results of several studies on the topic.
Trends in Genetics, 17 May 2013
Properties and rates of germline mutations in humans
Catarina D. Campbell, Evan E. EichlerSee Affiliations
All genetic variation arises via new mutations; therefore, determining the rate and biases for different classes of mutation is essential for understanding the genetics of human disease and evolution. Decades of mutation rate analyses have focused on a relatively small number of loci because of technical limitations. However, advances in sequencing technology have allowed for empirical assessments of genome-wide rates of mutation. Recent studies have shown that 76% of new mutations originate in the paternal lineage and provide unequivocal evidence for an increase in mutation with paternal age. Although most analyses have focused on single nucleotide variants (SNVs), studies have begun to provide insight into the mutation rate for other classes of variation, including copy number variants (CNVs), microsatellites, and mobile element insertions (MEIs). Here, we review the genome-wide analyses for the mutation rate of several types of variants and suggest areas for future research.