An In-Depth Look at Genetic Variation

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Researchers have mapped out 650,000 common, single-letter genetic variations in 938 individuals from 51 populations. They then used that information to trace the migration of the first modern humans — lending support to the theory that the first humans moved out of Africa across the globe.

The study, published in the journal Science, has applications on a smaller scale as well. The team of geneticists was able to unravel some of the genetic ancestries of eight different European groups and four groups in the Middle East.

The researchers says the data set "allows the most comprehensive characterization to date of human genetic variation."

Richard Myers, one of the authors of the report, talks with guest host Joe Palca about the challenges of using data with the human genome to map out human diversity.

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