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Thread: The genetic landscape of Ethiopia

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    The genetic landscape of Ethiopia

    Abstract

    The rich linguistic, ethnic and cultural diversity of Ethiopia provides an unprecedented opportunity to understand the level to which cultural factors correlate with -- and shape -- genetic structure in human populations. Using primarily novel genetic variation data covering 1,268 Ethiopians representing 68 different ethnic groups, together with information on individuals' birthplaces, linguistic/religious practices and 31 cultural practices, we disentangle the effects of geographic distance, elevation, and social factors upon shaping the genetic structure of Ethiopians today. We provide examples of how social behaviours have directly -- and strongly -- increased genetic differences among present-day peoples. We also show the fluidity of intermixing across linguistic and religious groups. We identify correlations between cultural and genetic patterns that likely indicate a degree of social selection involving recent intermixing among individuals that have certain practices in common. In addition to providing insights into the genetic structure and history of Ethiopia, including how they correlate with current linguistic classifications, these results identify the most important cultural and geographic proxies for genetic differentiation and provide a resource for designing sampling protocols for future genetic studies involving Ethiopians.

    https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/756536v1
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    Language composition VS Ancestry composition




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