Mitochondrial DNA and the founder effect, Douglas Wallace
Interviewee: Douglas Wallace Mitochondrial DNA and the founder effect
In every human being there's about six deleterious, that is disease-causing mutations. But those disease mutations in our bodies are masked, because we have two copies of every gene, one from our mother, one from our father. So if one is bad, the other is good, then our body is good, because it still has the right information. But if you now take a population of only five people, put them into an environment, and then have them all interbreed, then you've taken a limited number of these chromosomes, and now duplicated them many times, and then those people are marrying each other, so what can happen is, the bad gene can get duplicated in a brother and a sister, transmitted to their son and daughter, and then that pair of cousins could marry and that same gene that was now duplicated, could come back together, and you'd have now a mutant in both cases. And so now that, you don't have any good gene, then that person will have a disease. So what we see in these founder populations, is we get each founder population, it's a distinctive group, of rare diseases, because of this founder effect.
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Mitochondrial DNA pioneer Douglas Wallace speaks about the movement of different populations out of Africa.
Mitochondrial DNA pioneer Douglas Wallace explains the movement of different lineages of humans from Africa into Europe and Asia.
Geneticist Douglas Wallace explains a method of mapping a population's history using the mutations accumulated by its members.
Mitochondrial DNA research pioneer Douglas Wallace speaks about mitochondrial DNA and theories of human evolution.
An animation describing how certain genetic traits and diseases are more prevalent in different populations.
Mitochondrial DNA research pioneer Douglas Wallace speaks about mitochondrial DNA and female lineages
Mitochondrial DNA research pioneer Douglas Wallace speaks about the populations he samples and the direct application of the research.
Molecular geneticist Douglas Wallace talks about the way mitochondrial DNA is inherited.
This illustration shows the two major mitochondrial DNA lineages. The lower branch includes only African populations. The upper branch has both African and non-African members.
Mitochondrial DNA pioneer Douglas Wallace speaks about a possible migration of people from Europe to the Americas, 15,000 years ago.