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Topic: Dr. Spencer Wells on Collecting Genetic Data Around the World

Spencer Wells: You know, we’re building on the work of many, many people, particularly the work of the man who was my post doctoral advisor at Stanford, Lucca Cavalli-Sforza who really kind of created the field of human population genetics, starting back in the 1950s, studying blood groups and other so called classical polymorphisms, these are protein variance and cell surfaces like the blood groups and, you know, so studying things that were studyable in those days before the DNA era before, you know, molecular genetics really came along and he started to ask questions like, you know, does this genetic information tell us something about how human populations are related and yes it did but it was kinda vague. And it was really only with the era of DNA sequencing which came about in the 1980s that people could start to get out some of the details of this.

 

 

Recorded on: Mar 15 2008

 

 

 

More from the Big Idea for Saturday, June 16 2012

Today's Big Idea: Genetic Knowledge

Where did you come from and how does that affect who you are? For one thing, possessing the knowledge that we share common ancestors can have the humanizing affect of enabling us to see past su... Read More…

 

Dr. Spencer Wells on Collec...

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