Henry C. Harpending

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Episodes of population growth and decline leave characteristic signatures in the distribution of nucleotide (or restriction) site differences between pairs of individuals. These signatures appear in histograms showing the relative frequencies of pairs of individuals who differ by i sites, where i = 0, 1, .... In this distribution an episode of growth(More)
A mismatch distribution is a tabulation of the number of pairwise differences among all DNA sequences in a sample. In a population that has been stationary for a long time these distributions from nonrecombinant DNA sequences become ragged and erratic, whereas a population that has been growing generates mismatch distributions that are smooth and have a(More)
The proposal that all mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) types in contemporary humans stem from a common ancestor present in an African population some 200,000 years ago has attracted much attention. To study this proposal further, two hypervariable segments of mtDNA were sequenced from 189 people of diverse geographic origin, including 121 native Africans.(More)
Patterns of gene differences among humans contain information about the demographic history of our species. Haploid loci like mitochondrial DNA and the nonrecombining part of the Y chromosome show a pattern indicating expansion from a population of only several thousand during the late middle or early upper Pleistocene. Nuclear short tandem repeat loci also(More)
Hypervariable parts of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) were amplified enzymatically and sequenced directly by using genomic DNA from single plucked human hairs. This method has been applied to study mtDNA sequence variation among 15 members of the !Kung population. A genealogical tree relating these aboriginal, Khoisan-speaking southern Africans to 68 other(More)
The origin and demographic history of the ethnic populations of China have not been clearly resolved. In this study, we examined the hypervariable segment I sequences (HVSI) of the mitochondrial DNA control region in 372 individuals from nine Chinese populations and one northern Thai population. A relatively high percentage of individuals was found to share(More)
This is a review of genetic evidence about the ancient demography of the ancestors of our species and about the genesis of worldwide human diversity. The issue of whether or not a population size bottleneck occurred among our ancestors is under debate among geneticists as well as among anthropologists. The bottleneck, if it occurred, would confirm the(More)
We have examined differences in diversity at 60 microsatellite loci among human population samples from three major continental groups to evaluate the hypothesis of greater African diversity in this rapidly evolving class of loci. Application of a statistical test that assumes equal mutation rates at all loci fails to demonstrate differences in(More)
Genomic surveys in humans identify a large amount of recent positive selection. Using the 3.9-million HapMap SNP dataset, we found that selection has accelerated greatly during the last 40,000 years. We tested the null hypothesis that the observed age distribution of recent positively selected linkage blocks is consistent with a constant rate of adaptive(More)
We have analyzed 35 widely distributed, polymorphic Alu loci in 715 individuals from 31 world populations. The average frequency of Alu insertions (the derived state) is lowest in Africa (.42) but is higher and similar in India (.55), Europe (.56), and Asia (.57). A comparison with 30 restriction-site polymorphisms (RSPs) for which the ancestral state has(More)