Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineNational Heart & Lung Institute

Visiting Professor



+44 (0)20 7594 1511a.bowcock




Guy Scadding BuildingRoyal Brompton Campus






BibTex format

author = {Bowcock, A and Cavalli-Sforza, L},
journal = {Genomics},
pages = {491--498},
title = {The study of variation in the human genome.},
url = {},
volume = {11},
year = {1991}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - Regions of the genome showing high evolutionary stability are often conserved as a result of functional constraints. Conversely, more variable regions are likely to represent DNA with no functional or structural importance. However, as in the case of immunologically important regions, sequence divergence does not always indicate lack of functional importance. There is thus a wealth of information from both a functional and an evolutionary point of view that comes from studies of DNA sequence variation, a neglected aspect of the genome endeavor. Naturally, one cannot sequence hundreds of individuals in full, but a useful compromise is to use less expensive methods and to limit the more expensive types of analysis to an appropriately chosen sample of loci. The sample could be determined after careful consideration of categories of DNA segments with respect to individual variation. The study of such categories of DNA variation patterns can help in the understanding of the role of each gene and vice versa. One other important application requiring a study of DNA variation in different human populations is forensic DNA typing. This study requires a knowledge of allele frequencies in different human populations. Evidence of a match between two DNA samples is meaningless if the approximate population frequency of the DNA pattern is not known. It has been suggested (E. Lander) that one use the highest frequency for the most common allele as a baseline frequency estimate. Obviously, systems in which this is employed require an extensive analysis of population-specific allele frequencies. In general, the best way of studying interindividual variation when detecting or describing new polymorphisms is to include interethnic variation.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
AU - Bowcock,A
AU - Cavalli-Sforza,L
EP - 498
PY - 1991///
SN - 0888-7543
SP - 491
TI - The study of variation in the human genome.
T2 - Genomics
UR -
VL - 11
ER -