To infinity and beyond
22 November 2017 11:15 (South Africa)

Asia’s genetic history unveiled

Science magazine reported that the Human Genome Organisation's Pan-Asian Consortium has completed a study of the genetic background of almost 2,000 people across the continent. The results support the theory that Asia was populated primarily through a single migration event from the south many tens of thousands of years ago. The team screened genetic samples from 73 Asian populations for more than 50,000 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), variations in pieces of the DNA code, which can be compared to find out how closely related two individuals are genetically. Researchers say this information will aid future genetic studies in Asia and help design medicines to treat diseases to which Asian populations may be at a higher risk - and, further, that this common genetic heritage is a "reassuring social message" that "robbed racism of much (of its) biological support". The consortium involved 90 scientists from China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and the US. For more, read the BBC

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