Genetics

Sequence African genomes for Africa and the world: scientist

A $4.5 billion initiative to sequence the genomes of three million Africans would not only benefit a continent long neglected in gene-based healthcare, but advance understanding of genetic disease worldwide, the project leader ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

The mutation making SARS-CoV-2 milder

Like any other organism on the planet, the SARS-CoV-2 virus is prone to the natural genetic diversity that may arise from mutations. Since the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) hit the world, there ...

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Genetic diversity

Genetic diversity is a level of biodiversity that refers to the total number of genetic characteristics in the genetic makeup of a species. It is distinguished from genetic variability, which describes the tendency of genetic characteristics to vary.

The academic field of population genetics includes several hypotheses and theories regarding genetic diversity. The neutral theory of evolution proposes that diversity is the result of the accumulation of neutral substitutions. Diversifying selection is the hypothesis that two subpopulations of a species live in different environments that select for different alleles at a particular locus. This may occur, for instance, if a species has a large range relative to the mobility of individuals within it. Frequency-dependent selection is the hypothesis that as alleles become more common, they become less fit. This is often invoked in host-pathogen interactions, where a high frequency of a defensive allele among the host means that it is more likely that a pathogen will spread if it is able to overcome that allele.

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