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Slew of rare DNA changes following population explosion may hold clues to common diseases

Scientists have taken a first step toward understanding how rare genetic differences among people contribute to leading chronic illnesses. One-letter DNA code changes occur frequently in human genomes, but each variant is usually found in only a few individuals. This phenomenon is consistent with the population explosion of the past 5,000 years. Studying the evolution of rare genetic variants and their health impact is critical as low cost, rapid sequencing enters clinical use.
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One-letter switches in the DNA code occur much more frequently in human genomes than anticipated, but are often only found in one or a few individuals. The abundance of rare variations across the human genome is consistent with the ...

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