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Global Health
February 17, 2015

African Genome Variation Project Will Facilitate Genetic Studies in Africa

JAMA. 2015;313(7):659. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.170

The first comprehensive characterization of human genetic diversity throughout Africa, called the African Genome Variation Project, has been completed by a group of international researchers (Gurdasani D et al. Nature. doi:10.1038/nature13997 [published online December 3, 2014]). The study provides data on genomic risk factors for disease in Africa as well as information on population dynamics on the continent.

The researchers analyzed the genomes of 1481 individuals from 18 ethnolinguistic groups in sub-Saharan Africa using genotype arrays, and sequenced the entire genomes of 320 individuals from 7 different ethnolinguistic groups, to assess genetic diversity across the African continent. These data were also combined with data from the 1000 Genomes Project, adding genetic information from 2 nonoverlapping African populations to the analyses.