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Wednesday
Jul202011

Detailed Genetic Map for African Americans Finally Constructed

Digital Vision/Photodisc/Thinkstock(OXFORD, England) -- Almost every genetic map built to date has been developed from people of European ancestry, and thereby all research based on such maps is inherently biased in favor of identifying disease-causing genetic variations associated with this population.  But now two separate studies published in the journals Nature and Nature Genetics report data from a large, multinational effort to create a genetic map specific to African Americans.

Researchers at the Welcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics and Oxford University used data from 30,000 African Americans to create a genetic map that, according to one of the study's co-authors, is “the world’s most accurate genetic map.”  

And the map is starting to provide useful information. Researchers already have identified differences in certain areas of the genome between African American and non-African populations.  

The hope is that future studies using this map will not only help identify more disease-associated genes in general, but that it will also help researchers understand congenital conditions which are more common in African Americans.

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