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News-in-brief / 01.17.15

Study finds no evidence that natural selection has been less effective removing deleterious mutations in Europeans than in West Africans

By Broad Communications

In a recent study published online by Nature Genetics, Broad-affiliated researchers Ron Do, Daniel Balick, Heng Li, Shamil Sunyaev, and David Reich challenged the theory that natural selection has been less effective removing deleterious genetic mutations in non-Africans versus West Africans over the course of human evolution. The team used simulations to show that observed mutation patterns that have been interpreted as evidence supporting the theory are not likely to reflect changes in the effectiveness of selection after the populations diverged, but are instead likely to be driven by other factors of population genetics.