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Mapping Human Genetic Diversity in Asia

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Science  11 Dec 2009:
Vol. 326, Issue 5959, pp. 1541-1545
DOI: 10.1126/science.1177074

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Patterns of Early Migration

In order to gain insight into various migrations that must have happened during movement of early humans into Asia and the subsequent populating of the largest continent on Earth, the HUGO Pan-Asian SNP Consortium (p. 1541) analyzed genetic variation in almost 2000 individuals representing 73 Asian and two non-Asian populations. The results suggest that there may have been a single major migration of people into Asia and a subsequent south-to-north migration across the continent. While most populations from the same linguistic group tend to cluster together in terms of relatedness, several do not, clustering instead with their geographic neighbors, suggesting either substantial recent mixing among the populations or language replacement. Furthermore, data from indigenous Taiwanese populations appear to be inconsistent with the idea of a Taiwan homeland for Austronesian populations.