Modern computational approaches for analysing molecular genetic variation data

Nat Rev Genet. 2006 Oct;7(10):759-70. doi: 10.1038/nrg1961.


An explosive growth is occurring in the quantity, quality and complexity of molecular variation data that are being collected. Historically, such data have been analysed by using model-based methods. Models are useful for sharpening intuition, for explanation and for prediction: they add to our understanding of how the data were formed, and they can provide quantitative answers to questions of interest. We outline some of these model-based approaches, including the coalescent, and discuss the applicability of the computational methods that are necessary given the highly complex nature of current and future data sets.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Computational Biology / methods*
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Genetics, Population / methods*
  • Humans
  • Stochastic Processes