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Articles on Genetic diversity

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These baobab trees in Sine Saloum park, Senegal descended from seedlings that floated over from Madagascar. Tuul and Bruno Morandi/Getty Images

Baobab trees all come from Madagascar – new study reveals that their seeds and seedlings floated to mainland Africa and all the way to Australia

New research has found that the world’s baobab trees all evolved on Madagascar 21 million years ago. Sometime in the last 12 million years, they floated on piles of debris to Australia and Africa.
A hybrid breeding approach has the potential to accelerate genetic diversity and help produce disease-resistant pups every year. Adobe Stock

African wild dogs will soon have their own sperm bank – how artificial breeding will help them survive

The African wild dog has been left without habitat to naturally disperse and breed. Scientists will set up the first-ever sperm bank to inseminate wild dogs and ensure that the species survives.
The gut microbiome may also play a role in personalized medicine. nopparit/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Humans evolved with their microbiomes – like genes, your gut microbes pass from one generation to the next

As early modern humans spread across the globe, their gut microbes genetically changed with them. Understanding the origins of gut microbes could improve understanding of their role in human health.
Ethical and equitable scientific collaboration could help increase the genetic diversity of genomic data. gmast3r/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Uncovering the genetic basis of mental illness requires data and tools that aren’t just based on white people – this international team is collecting DNA samples around the globe

Existing genetic data and sequencing tools are overwhelmingly based on people of European ancestry, which excludes much of the rich genetic variation of the world.
You can plant a seed from a delicious Honeycrisp apple from the grocery store — but the fruit that comes from that tree will not be Honeycrisp. (Shutterstock)

How a few good apples spawned today’s top varieties — and why breeders must branch out

Apple breeders have created crisp, juicy and tasty fruits, but the limited varieties leave crops vulnerable to diseases, pests and climate change. Introducing new traits could improve crop resilience.
More clinical trials in African countries can help ensure that any vaccines or treatments developed cater to the continent’s genetic diversity. CELLOU BINANI/AFP via Getty Images

Few clinical trials are done in Africa: COVID-19 shows why this urgently needs to change

More countries on the African continent must urgently get involved in clinical trials so that the data collected will accurately represent the continent at a genetic level.

What we’ve learnt from building Africa’s biggest genome library

Africa is known to be where humans originated. This makes it the most genetically diverse region in the world. Diversity in other populations represents a subset of the diversity within Africa.

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