Human Mitochondrial DNA and the Evolution of Homo sapiens (Nucleic Acids and Molecular Biology)

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9783540317883: Human Mitochondrial DNA and the Evolution of Homo sapiens (Nucleic Acids and Molecular Biology)

Mitochondrial DNA is one of the most closely explored genetic systems, because it can tell us so much about the human past. This book takes a unique perspective, presenting the disparate strands that must be tied together to exploit this system. From molecular biology to anthropology, statistics to ancient DNA, this first volume of three presents a comprehensive global picture and a critical appraisal of human mitochondrial DNA variation.

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Mitochondrial DNA is one of the most explored genetic systems because of what it can tell us about the human past. This volume takes a unique perspective, presenting the disparate strands that must be tied together to exploit this system. From molecular biology to anthropology, statistics to ancient DNA, this first volume of three presents the global picture of human mitochondrial DNA variation. It takes a critical look at the field, flagging the problems, as well as the successes, and always placing the mitochondrial phylogeny centre stage.

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"The study of the variation in mitochondrial DNA has significantly deepened our knowledge about human dispersal ... . The book is clearly written and benefits from the true experts in the field. ... it provides a strong and helpful basis and serves as a well-selected summary ... . everybody involved in mtDNA research is sooner or later advised to have a look at it." (Wolfgang Haak, Journal of Comparative Human Biology, Vol. 58, 2007)

"Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) has become prominent in studies ... . mtDNA is a boon, not only for scholars interested in the origin of Homo sapiens, but also for population biologists, forensic scientists and those interested in the applications of ancient DNA techniques. ... mtDNA has grown in parallel with advances in molecular biology, phylogenetics and bioinformatics. ... This well-written book contains much valuable information on the received human mtDNA phylogeny and taxonomy." (Erika Hagelberg, Human Genetics, Vol. 123, 2008)

"This book reviews what mitochondria are, how these organelles are studied by geneticists, and what they tell us about our evolution. ... is an excellent book that will appeal to several audiences. One is the human mitochondrial DNA research community. While the authors describe current research, they also offer a number of provocative reconstructions of human history ... . The authors of this book have done a valuable service to the anthropological community." (Pamela R. Willoughby, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Vol. 135, 2008)

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