Population Genetics of Modern Human Evolution


The aim of studies in human population genetics is to determine how mutation, genetic drift, gene flow and natural selection have generated patterns of genetic diversity within and between populations. One application of these studies is to questions about how modern humans evolved and the meaning of human ‘racial’ variation.

Keywords: genetics; DNA; human evolution; race

Further Reading

Foley R (1998) The context of human evolution. Genome Research 8: 339–347.

Hawks J, Hunley K, Lee S‐H and Wolpoff M (2000) Population bottlenecks and Pleistocene human evolution. Molecular Biology and Evolution 17: 2–22.

Jorde LB, Bamshad M and Rogers AR (1998) Using mitochondrial and nuclear DNA markers to reconstruct human evolution. BioEssays 20: 126–136.

Ovchinnikov IV, Götherström A, Romanova GP et al. (2000) Molecular analysis of Neanderthal DNA from the northern Caucasus. Nature 404: 490–493.

Przeworski M, Hudson RR and Di Rienzo A (2000) Adjusting the focus on human variation. Trends in Genetics 16: 296–302.

Relethford JH (1998) Genetics of modern human origins and diversity. Annual Review of Anthropology 27: l–23.

Relethford JH (2001) Genetics and the Search for Modern Human Origins. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Templeton AR (1999) Human races: a genetic and evolutionary perspective. American Anthropologist 100: 632–650.

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Relethford, John H, and Harding, Rosalind M(Apr 2001) Population Genetics of Modern Human Evolution. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0001470]