Personal Genetics Education Project

In the news: Error in study of ancient African genome led to incorrect conclusion

A few months ago we blogged about the publication of the first genome sequence from an ancient African, in which the authors concluded that an ancient “back migration” of humans from the Middle East into Africa had left traces of Eurasian DNA in the genomes of Africans throughout the continent today.

As it turns out, the researchers made some mistakes when using certain computer software to analyze the genome data. After the study’s publication, another group of scientists reanalyzed the original data, which the study authors shared, and came to different conclusions: there is almost no sign of Eurasian DNA in the genomes of today’s western and southern Africans. The original authors have since confirmed the errors and promptly published a correction note. The conclusion that the genomes of today’s East Africans contain significant amounts of DNA that can be traced back to the peoples of Europe and Asia, who back-migrated into Africa after the lifetime of this ancient genome’s owner, remains correct. However, this migration did not reach too far beyond East Africa.

While the errors in the computer analysis could conceivably have been caught earlier, this incident is a good demonstration of the self-corrective power of the scientific process. It also highlights the importance for scientists to be open in sharing their data, so that other researchers can make use of them to advance science – and to catch the occasional mistake and correct the scientific record!

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National Association of Biology Teachers annual conference

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In the News

As we finish up another week of Teaching the Genome Generation at the Jackson Lab in Bar Harbor Maine, teachers are excited to receive a copy of David Epstein's "The Sports Gene". pgEd loves leading the social and ethical dimension of this annual professional development course. Looking for some summer reading? Check out pged.org/book-corner/ ... See MoreSee Less

Posted by pgEd 2 months ago

As we finish up another week of Teaching the Genome Generation at the Jackson Lab in Bar Harbor Maine, teachers are excited to receive a copy of David Epsteins The Sports Gene. pgEd loves leading the social and ethical dimension of this annual professional development course.  Looking for some summer reading? Check out http://pged.org/book-corner/

What a wonderful three days at our Summer Institute! Thanks to our friends at Brockton High School for hosting us, and to all the teachers who came and shared their energy, passion and ideas. There will be lots for pgEd to get inspirations from as we develop our new unit of lessons on genetics and identity.
See everyone at our next workshop in Boston in less than two weeks!
... See MoreSee Less

Posted by pgEd 3 months ago

What a wonderful three days at our Summer Institute! Thanks to our friends at Brockton High School for hosting us, and to all the teachers who came and shared their energy, passion and ideas. There will be lots for pgEd to get inspirations from as we develop our new unit of lessons on genetics and identity.
See everyone at our next workshop in Boston in less than two weeks!

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