Population Structure and Cheek Swabs – #365papers – 2017 – 64

#365papers for March 5, 2017

Han and 18 others, 2017, Clustering of 770,000 genomes reveals post-colonial population structure of North America: Nature Communications.

What’s it about?

This paper uses the anonymous results from over 770 thousand AncestryDNA genomes to examine the clustering of certain genomes (ancestries) in different regions of North America. It supports empirically what we already knew: That scandinavians are all over Minnesota and North and South Dakota; that there’s an Appalachian population that was unique and isolated; and that Utahns are… special.

Why does it matter?

Digging a little deeper into the data, one can determine from where major groups of people emigrated into the United States, which can help us understand the history of our nation during its growth.

Why did I read this?

I read this out of pure interest. I shouldn’t have been surprised that the AncestryDNA folks had had the foresight to get permissions to use the data for research. This is fascinating.

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