‘Pangenome’ aims to capture the breadth of human diversity

In this episode:

00:45 Making a more diverse human genome

The first draft of the human genome ushered in a new era of genetics research. Since its publication, researchers have constructed ever more accurate ‘reference genomes’ – baselines against which others are compared. But these are based on the DNA of a small number of people, and don’t represent the genetic variation known to exist across human populations. To address this, a consortium of researchers have published the first draft of a ‘pangenome’, which combines the genomes of 47 genetically diverse individuals. This draft provides a more complete picture of the human genome, and is the starting point for a project that aims to include sequences from 350 individuals.

Research article: Liao et al.

Research article: Vollger et al.

Research article: Guarracino et al.

News and Views Forum: Human pangenome supports analysis of complex genomic regions

08:33 Research Highlights

A wearable sensor that lets users see infrared light, and how a vulture’s culture can influence its dining habits.

Research Highlight: Wearable sensor gives a glimpse of ‘invisible’ light

Research Highlight: What drives a scavenger’s diet? Vulture culture

11:06 Briefing Chat

We discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, a new phosphate-storing organelle found in fruit fly cells, and how extracted DNA revealed who held a deer-tooth pendant 20,000 years ago.

Nature News: New cellular ‘organelle’ discovered inside fruit-fly intestines

Nature News: Prehistoric pendant’s DNA reveals the person who held it

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