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We analyzed the current status (as of the end of August 2008) of human mitochondrial genomes deposited in GenBank, amounting to 5140 complete or coding-region sequences, in order to present an overall picture of the diversity present in the mitochondrial DNA of the global human population. To perform this task, we developed mtDNA-GeneSyn, a computer tool(More)
A major unanswered question regarding the dispersal of modern humans around the world concerns the geographical site of the first human steps outside of Africa. The "southern coastal route" model predicts that the early stages of the dispersal took place when people crossed the Red Sea to southern Arabia, but genetic evidence has hitherto been tenuous. We(More)
The archaeology of North Africa remains enigmatic, with questions of population continuity versus discontinuity taking centre-stage. Debates have focused on population transitions between the bearers of the Middle Palaeolithic Aterian industry and the later Upper Palaeolithic populations of the Maghreb, as well as between the late Pleistocene and Holocene.(More)
The origins of Ashkenazi Jews remain highly controversial. Like Judaism, mitochondrial DNA is passed along the maternal line. Its variation in the Ashkenazim is highly distinctive, with four major and numerous minor founders. However, due to their rarity in the general population, these founders have been difficult to trace to a source. Here we show that(More)
Neural circuit mapping is generating datasets of tens of thousands of labeled neurons. New computational tools are needed to search and organize these data. We present NBLAST, a sensitive and rapid algorithm, for measuring pairwise neuronal similarity. NBLAST considers both position and local geometry, decomposing neurons into short segments; matched(More)
A proportion of 1/4 to 1/2 of North African female pool is made of typical sub-Saharan lineages, in higher frequencies as geographic proximity to sub-Saharan Africa increases. The Sahara was a strong geographical barrier against gene flow, at least since 5,000 years ago, when desertification affected a larger region, but the Arab trans-Saharan slave trade(More)
Since the mitochondrial theory of ageing was proposed, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) diversity has been largely studied in old people, however complete genomes are still rare, being limited to Japanese and UK/US samples. In this work, we evaluated possible longevity associated polymorphisms/haplogroups in an African population, from Tunisia, by performing(More)
BACKGROUND Anatomy ontologies are query-able classifications of anatomical structures. They provide a widely-used means for standardising the annotation of phenotypes and expression in both human-readable and programmatically accessible forms. They are also frequently used to group annotations in biologically meaningful ways. Accurate annotation requires(More)
Chad Basin, lying within the bidirectional corridor of African Sahel, is one of the most populated places in Sub-Saharan Africa today. The origin of its settlement appears connected with Holocene climatic ameliorations (aquatic resources) that started ~10,000 years before present (YBP). Although both Nilo-Saharan and Niger-Congo language families are(More)
Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling is essential for neural crest development in several vertebrates. Genetic experiments in the mouse have shown that Bmp2 is essential for the genesis of migratory neural crest cells. Using several markers and a transgenic reporter approach, we now show that neural crest cells are induced in Bmp2 null mutant embryos,(More)