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Genie: A Population Genetics Simulation Built with JavaScript

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The modern web presents an opportunity for educators and researchers to create tools that are highly accessible. Because of the near-ubiquity of modern web browsers, developers who hope to create educational and analytical tools can reach a large au- dience

The modern web presents an opportunity for educators and researchers to create tools that are highly accessible. Because of the near-ubiquity of modern web browsers, developers who hope to create educational and analytical tools can reach a large au- dience by creating web applications. Using JavaScript, HTML, and other modern web development technologies, Genie was developed as a simulator to help educators in biology, genetics, and evolution classrooms teach their students about population genetics. Because Genie was designed for the modern web, it is highly accessible to both educators and students, who can access the web application using any modern web browser on virtually any device. Genie demonstrates the efficacy of web devel- opment technologies for demonstrating and simulating complex processes, and it will be a unique educational tool for educators who teach population genetics.

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2015-05

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Genetic diversity across the pseudoautosomal boundary varies across human populations

Description

Unlike the autosomes, recombination on the sex chromosomes is limited to the pseudoautosomal regions (PARs) at each end of the chromosome. PAR1 spans approximately 2.7 Mb from the tip of the proximal arm of each sex chromosome, and a pseudoautosomal

Unlike the autosomes, recombination on the sex chromosomes is limited to the pseudoautosomal regions (PARs) at each end of the chromosome. PAR1 spans approximately 2.7 Mb from the tip of the proximal arm of each sex chromosome, and a pseudoautosomal boundary between the PAR1 and non-PAR region is thought to have evolved from a Y-specific inversion that suppressed recombination across the boundary. In addition to the two PARs, there is also a human-specific X-transposed region (XTR) that was duplicated from the X to the Y chromosome. Genetic diversity is expected to be higher in recombining than nonrecombining regions, particularly because recombination reduces the effects of linked selection, allowing neutral variation to accumulate. We previously showed that diversity decreases linearly across the previously defined pseudoautosomal boundary (rather than drop suddenly at the boundary), suggesting that the pseudoautosomal boundary may not be as strict as previously thought. In this study, we analyzed data from 1271 genetic females to explore the extent to which the pseudoautosomal boundary varies among human populations (broadly, African, European, South Asian, East Asian, and the Americas). We found that, in all populations, genetic diversity was significantly higher in the PAR1 and XTR than in the non-PAR regions, and that diversity decreased linearly from the PAR1 to finally reach a non-PAR value well past the pseudoautosomal boundary in all populations. However, we also found that the location at which diversity changes from reflecting the higher PAR1 diversity to the lower nonPAR diversity varied by as much as 500 kb among populations. The lack of genetic evidence for a strict pseudoautosomal boundary and the variability in patterns of diversity across the pseudoautosomal boundary are consistent with two potential explanations: (1) the boundary itself may vary across populations, or (2) that population-specific demographic histories have shaped diversity across the pseudoautosomal boundary.

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Date Created
2016-12