Menu

Diversity in Mexico

A genomic survey of Mexicans reveals a wealth of diversity in North America’s southernmost land.

Jun 16, 2014
Jef Akst

A street in Mexico CityFLICKR, TRISTAN HIGBEEMexico harbors a diversity of human genetic diversity, according to researchers publishing in Science last week (June 12). In some cases, in fact, the Mexican people studied showed as must genetic distance between them as individuals from different continents. At the same time, however, the work revealed that two distinct cultural groups in the country—indigenous Native Americans and “mestizos,” or people with mixed Native American and European ancestry—were remarkably similar at the DNA level.

“As academics, we have been separating them into two groups—indigenous and cosmopolitan,” geneticist Andrés Moreno-Estrada at Stanford University in California, one of two lead authors of the paper, told Nature News. “Genetically, we see that, in fact, there is very little difference between these two.”

Moreno-Estrada and colleagues came to the conclusions after examining 1 million genetic variants in the genomes of 31 people. Representatives of Mexico’s indigenous populations held the most diversity, with some groups harboring more genetic differences than Europeans and Chinese people. The team suggested that small founder populations may have contributed to the groups’ genetic distinction.

“This points to some pretty dramatic and long-standing processes of isolation, and suggests that sampling of additional native populations from Mexico, not to mention other countries in the Americas, could reveal an even richer panorama of variation,” geneticist Alexander Kim of Harvard Medical School told Nature.

The results could also have medical implications, coauthor Esteban González Burchard of the University of California, San Francisco, told National Geographic. “This study is about much more than Mexico. It’s putting the spotlight on one’s genetic ancestry, and that can be clinically relevant at a time when we’re moving down the field toward what I call precision medicine.”

January 2019

Cannabis on Board

Research suggests ill effects of cannabinoids in the womb

Marketplace

Sponsored Product Updates

WIN a VIAFLO 96/384 to supercharge your microplate pipetting!
WIN a VIAFLO 96/384 to supercharge your microplate pipetting!
INTEGRA Biosciences is offering labs the chance to win a VIAFLO 96/384 pipette. Designed to simplify plate replication, plate reformatting or reservoir-to-plate transfers, the VIAFLO 96/384 allows labs without the space or budget for an expensive pipetting robot to increase the speed and throughput of routine tasks.
FORMULATRIX® digital PCR technology to be acquired by QIAGEN
FORMULATRIX® digital PCR technology to be acquired by QIAGEN
FORMULATRIX has announced that their digital PCR assets, including the CONSTELLATION® series of instruments, is being acquired by QIAGEN N.V. (NYSE: QGEN, Frankfurt Stock Exchange: QIA) for up to $260 million ($125 million upfront payment and $135 million of milestones).  QIAGEN has announced plans for a global launch in 2020 of a new series of digital PCR platforms that utilize the advanced dPCR technology developed by FORMULATRIX combined with QIAGEN’s expertise in assay development and automation.
Application of CRISPR/Cas to the Generation of Genetically Engineered Mice
Application of CRISPR/Cas to the Generation of Genetically Engineered Mice
With this application note from Taconic, learn about the power that the CRISPR/Cas system has to revolutionize the field of custom mouse model generation!
Translational Models of Obesity, Dysmetabolism, Diabetes, and Complications
Translational Models of Obesity, Dysmetabolism, Diabetes, and Complications
This webinar, from Crown Bioscience, presents a unique continuum of translational dysmetabolic platforms that more closely mimic human disease. Learn about using next-generation rodent and spontaneously diabetic non-human primate models to accurately model human-relevant disease progression and complications related to obesity and diabetes here!