Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

Rewriting Life

Genetic Geography

Genomic analysis reveals Europeans’ places of origin.

An international group of scientists has shown that genetic analysis can pinpoint Europeans’ geographic origins within a few hundred kilometers. The scientists mathematically mapped the differences between people’s genomes onto a two-dimensional grid, and the result looked much like a map of Europe.

John Novembre, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of California, Los Angeles, who participated in the study, says that the findings could have research implications. Scientists can study a disease by looking for genetic variations shared by people who suffer from it. But test subjects from different countries may have unrelated genetic variations that yield false positives. The same technique that produced the genetic map could filter out such regional differences, making it easier to home in on variations of interest.

This story is part of our November/December 2008 Issue
See the rest of the issue
Subscribe

Blood will out: A mathematical operation maps (right) the most significant differences between the genomes of 1,387 Europeans onto a single axis (PC1). Performed again, the operation maps the most significant differences that the first iteration missed (PC2). The result–a 2-D map of genetic variation–looks remarka­bly like a map of Europe (left).

AI is here.
Own what happens next at EmTech Digital 2019.

Register now
More from Rewriting Life

Reprogramming our bodies to make us healthier.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Plus.
  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus the digital magazine, extensive archive, ad-free web experience, and discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events.

    See details+

    Print + Digital Magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    Unlimited online access including all articles, multimedia, and more

    The Download newsletter with top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox

    Technology Review PDF magazine archive, including articles, images, and covers dating back to 1899

    10% Discount to MIT Technology Review events and MIT Press

    Ad-free website experience

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.