David J. Witherspoon

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Tibetans have lived at very high altitudes for thousands of years, and they have a distinctive suite of physiological traits that enable them to tolerate environmental hypoxia. These phenotypes are clearly the result of adaptation to this environment, but their genetic basis remains unknown. We report genome-wide scans that reveal positive selection in(More)
We present a maximum likelihood model to estimate the age of retrotransposon subfamilies. This method is designed around a master gene model which assumes a constant retrotransposition rate. The statistical properties of this model and an ad hoc estimation procedure are compared using two simulated data sets. We also test whether each estimation procedure(More)
We report an analysis of more than 240,000 loci genotyped using the Affymetrix SNP microarray in 554 individuals from 27 worldwide populations in Africa, Asia, and Europe. To provide a more extensive and complete sampling of human genetic variation, we have included caste and tribal samples from two states in South India, Daghestanis from eastern Europe,(More)
The determination of the relationship between a pair of individuals is a fundamental application of genetics. Previously, we and others have demonstrated that identity-by-descent (IBD) information generated from high-density single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data can greatly improve the power and accuracy of genetic relationship detection. Whole-genome(More)
BACKGROUND Mobile elements (MEs) are diverse, common and dynamic inhabitants of nearly all genomes. ME transposition generates a steady stream of polymorphic genetic markers, deleterious and adaptive mutations, and substrates for further genomic rearrangements. Research on the impacts, population dynamics, and evolution of MEs is constrained by the(More)
of Chimerism Analysis Data. a. Simulated distributions of the proportion of allele A reads out of the total number of reads at a locus for a marmoset with chimeric fraction Φ BLOCKIN BLOCKIN = 0.33 (green) and BLOCKIN BLOCKIN Φ BLOCKIN BLOCKIN = 0 (i.e., not chimeric; yellow). b. Standard deviation in the proportion of allele A reads across loci vs.(More)
BACKGROUND Recombination rates vary widely across the human genome, but little of that variation is correlated with known DNA sequence features. The genome contains more than one million Alu mobile element insertions, and these insertions have been implicated in non-homologous recombination, modulation of DNA methylation, and transcriptional regulation. If(More)
Humans reached present-day Island Southeast Asia (ISEA) in one of the first major human migrations out of Africa. Population movements in the millennia following this initial settlement are thought to have greatly influenced the genetic makeup of current inhabitants, yet the extent attributed to different events is not clear. Recent studies suggest that(More)
Deedu (DU) Mongolians, who migrated from the Mongolian steppes to the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau approximately 500 years ago, are challenged by environmental conditions similar to native Tibetan highlanders. Identification of adaptive genetic factors in this population could provide insight into coordinated physiological responses to this environment. Here we(More)
Preterm birth (PTB), defined as birth prior to a gestational age (GA) of 37 completed weeks, affects more than 10 % of births worldwide. PTB is the leading cause of neonatal mortality and is associated with a broad spectrum of lifelong morbidity in survivors. The etiology of spontaneous PTB (SPTB) is complex and has an important genetic component. Previous(More)