During their dispersal from Africa, our ancestors were exposed to new environments and diseases. Those who were better adapted to local conditions passed on their genes, including those conferring these benefits, with greater frequency. This process of natural selection left signatures in our genome that can be used to identify genes that might underlie variation in disease resistance or drug metabolism. These signatures are, however, confounded by population history and by variation in local recombination rates. Although this complexity makes finding adaptive polymorphisms a challenge, recent discoveries are instructing us how and where to look for the signatures of selection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology