Unraveling male and female histories from human genetic data

Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2006 Dec;16(6):611-7. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2006.10.004. Epub 2006 Oct 25.


The increasing availability of large-scale genetic datasets has made it possible to ask detailed questions about the structure of human genetic diversity, and what that structure can teach us about human demographic history. Global, multi-locus analyses have suggested that human genetic diversity may fall into clusters that correspond approximately to continental origin. Detailed comparisons of mitochondrial DNA and the Y chromosome have revealed a history of sex-biased migration patterns that can vary widely across human populations. These patterns can be understood, however, when we incorporate our knowledge of local histories and cultural practices into our genetic analyses.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Databases, Genetic
  • Emigration and Immigration*
  • Female
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Genetics, Medical
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marriage
  • Sex Characteristics*