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Following the Genomic Footprints of Early Europeans (FLOWGENE)
Start date: Oct 1, 2012, End date: Sep 30, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Two of greatest challenges of the post-genomic era are to (i) develop a detailed understanding of the heritable variation in the human genome, and to (ii) determine which key events in human evolutionary history that are responsible for patterns of genomic variation. The recent genomic revolution will be instrumental in these quests and we will very soon have access to several thousand complete genomes from diverse populations.Extracting genetic information from ancient material has for long been hampered by numerous difficulties after its first steps some two decades ago, but in the last few years, many of these problems have been solved and the use of ancient DNA is now beginning to show its full potential. The use of ancient DNA has been announced among the top-ten ‘insights of the decade’ by Science, and promises to transform our views on human origins and prehistory.The demographic history of Europeans attracts great interest in archaeology, anthropology, and human genetics, and it has drawn extensive research focus for more than a century. The recent genomic revolution has opened up the time dimension for genomic analyses, however, to harness the full potential of genomic data from modern and ancient material, we need new population genetic theory and modern statistical analysis tools. I propose to conduct 3 Ancient Genome Projects to generate complete genomes for multiple individuals from 3 time epochs in the European prehistory; the Cro-Magnon-, the Mesolithic-, and the Neolithic-Genome project. These Genome Projects will proceed in concert with development a) new population genetic theory and novel tools for demographic inference, b) a novel, temporal based, framework for characterizing selection and local adaptation, and c) explore the evolutionary history of gene-variants associated with traits and diseases. Genomic data from temporal samples has the potential to revolutionize our understanding of human evolution and the demographic history of Europe.
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