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From 1900, when Landsteiner first described the ABO blood groups, to the present, the methods used to characterize the genetics of human populations have undergone a remarkable development. Concomitantly, our understanding of the history and spread of human populations across the earth has become much more detailed. As has often been said, a better understanding of the genetic relationships among the peoples of the world is one of the best antidotes to racial prejudices. Such an understanding provides us with a fascinating, improved insight into our origins as well as with valuable information about population differences that are of medical relevance. The study of genetic polymorphisms has been essential to the analysis of the relationships between human populations. The evolution of methods used to study human polymorphisms and the resulting contributions to our understanding of human health and history is the subject of this Perspectives.

Original publication

DOI

10.1534/genetics.114.173062

Type

Journal article

Journal

Genetics

Publication Date

02/2015

Volume

199

Pages

267 - 279

Keywords

ABO Blood-Group System, Alleles, European Continental Ancestry Group, Evolution, Molecular, Gene Frequency, Genetic Association Studies, Genetic Variation, Genetics, Population, HLA Antigens, Humans, Polymorphism, Genetic, United Kingdom