Women's moves to new communities has left mark
Posted: Monday, August 20, 2001
Women's moves to new communities has left mark on gene pool, study confirms
In most societies, women tend to move to their mate's communities rather than vice versa. A new study confirms this has left a mark in local gene pools.
Several studies have found different amounts of diversity in two categories of human DNA. One, the Y chromosome, is passed from father to son. The other, mitochondrial DNA, is passed from mother to daughter.
Studies have found that individual populations tend to have more variation in the female-inherited mitochondrial DNA than the male-inherited Y chromosome. And in comparisons across groups, scientists find lots of diversity in the Y chromosome DNA but lower levels in the mitchondrial DNA.
Scientists have suggested these patterns appear because women tend to move to their mate's home communities before having children. So they bring genetic diversity into the mitochondrial DNA of individual groups, while spreading it between populations, creating a more uniform blend in each. Men, in contrast, are more prone to stay home and not spread their Y chromosomes between groups, creating a genetic isolation that allows more discrepancy to develop from group to group. More
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