The History and Geography of Human Genes: Abridged paperback Edition

Princeton University Press
Free sample

Hailed as a breakthrough in the understanding of human evolution, The History and Geography of Human Genes offers the first full-scale reconstruction of where human populations originated and the paths by which they spread throughout the world. By mapping the worldwide geographic distribution of genes for over 110 traits in over 1800 primarily aboriginal populations, the authors charted migrations and devised a clock by which to date evolutionary history. This monumental work is now available in a more affordable paperback edition without the myriad illustrations and maps, but containing the full text and partial appendices of the authors' pathbreaking endeavor.
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About the author

L. Luca Cavalli-Sforza is Professor of Genetics at Stanford University, Paolo Menozzi is Professor of Ecology at the University of Parma, andAlberto Piazza is Professor of Human Genetics at the Medical School of Turin University.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Jun 5, 2018
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Pages
413
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ISBN
9780691187266
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / Life Sciences / Genetics & Genomics
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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In 1951, the geneticist Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza was teaching in Parma when a student--a priest named Antonio Moroni--told him about rich church records of demography and marriages between relatives. After convincing the Church to open its records, Cavalli-Sforza, Moroni, and Gianna Zei embarked on a landmark study that would last fifty years and cover all of Italy. This book assembles and analyzes the team's research for the first time.

Using blood testing as well as church records, the team investigated the frequency of consanguineous marriages and its use for estimating inbreeding and studying the relations between inbreeding and drift. They tested the importance of random genetic drift by studying population structure through demography of the last three centuries, using it to predict the spatial variation of frequencies of genetic markers. The authors find that drift-related genetic variation, including its stabilization by migration, is best predicted by computer simulation. They also analyze the usefulness and limits of the concept of deme for defining Mendelian populations. The genetic effect of consanguineous marriage on recessive genetic diseases and for the detection of dominance in metric characters are also studied.


Ultimately bringing together the many strands of their massive project, Cavalli-Sforza, Moroni, and Zei are able to map genetic drift in all of Italy's approximately 8,000 communes and to demonstrate the relationship between each locality's drift and various ecological and demographic factors. In terms of both methods and findings, their accomplishment is tremendously important for understanding human social structure and the genetic effects of drift and inbreeding.

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