Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Australian genomes

After rapidly developing the second and third generation sequencing methods that make it feasible and indeed affordable to sequence many human genomes, research has been slow to turn to address human genetic diversity (most of which is in Africa, not between the arbitrarily defined "races") and the migrations in which our ancestors spread out around the globe. Even though extinct relatives including Neanderthal and Denisovan have had their genomes published years ago, it's only now that Australia and Papua New Guinea are receiving adequate attention. The genomes of their indigenous populations cast a unique and revealing spotlight on the history of our species.

Read all about it in my latest feature:

Out of Africa, into Australia
Current Biology Volume 26, Issue 21, 7 November 2016, Pages R1119–R1121

FREE access to full text and PDF download


Since modern humans expanded into the Australian continent some 40,000 years ago, they developed a rich landscape of cultural and linguistic diversity — until the arrival of the colonialists who failed to appreciate their ancient civilisation. (Photo: © Wayne Quilliam Photography/Yothu Yindu Foundation.)

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