Beyond race: Towards a whole-genome perspective on human populations and genetic variation

Morris W. Foster, Richard R. Sharp

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


The renewed emphasis on population-specific genetic variation, exemplified most prominently by the International HapMap Project, is complicated by a longstanding, uncritical reliance on existing population categories in genetic research. Race and other pre-existing population definitions (ethnicity, religion, language, nationality, culture and so on) tend to be contentious concepts that have polarized discussions about the ethics and science of research into population-specific human genetic variation. By contrast, a broader consideration of the multiple historical sources of genetic variation provides a whole-genome perspective on the ways i n which existing population definitions do, and do not, account for how genetic variation is distributed among individuals. Although genetics will continue to rely on analytical tools that make use of particular population histories, it is important to interpret findings in a broader genomic context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)790-796
Number of pages7
JournalNature Reviews Genetics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Beyond race: Towards a whole-genome perspective on human populations and genetic variation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this