Mapping Human Genetic Variation

This map paints a colorful portrait of human genetic variation around the world. Researchers analyzed the DNA of 485 people and tinted the genetic types in different colors to produce one of the most detailed maps of its kind ever made. The map shows that genetic variation decreases with increasing distance from Africa, which supports the idea that humans originated in Africa, spread to the Middle East, then to Asia and Europe, and finally to the Americas. The data also offers a rich resource that scientists could use to pinpoint the genetic basis of diseases prevalent in diverse populations. Courtesy of geneticist Noah Rosenberg and graphic designer Martin Soave, University of Michigan.

NIH's National Institute on Aging and National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities also supported this work.

Featured in the March 19, 2008, issue of Biomedical Beat.
High res. image (984 KB JPG)