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Researchers from the University of Oxford’s Big Data Institute have taken a major step towards mapping the entirety of genetic relationships among humans: a single genealogy that traces the ancestry of all of us.

Map of the world superimposed on a pair of human hands © David Bruyland

The past two decades have seen extraordinary advancements in human genetic research, generating genomic data for hundreds of thousands of individuals, including from thousands of prehistoric people. This raises the exciting possibility of tracing the origins of human genetic diversity to produce a complete map of how individuals across the world are related to each other.

Until now, the main challenges to this vision were working out a way to combine genome sequences from many different databases and developing algorithms to handle data of this size. However, a new method published by researchers from the University of Oxford's Big Data Institute can easily combine data from multiple sources and scale to accommodate millions of genome sequences.

Read the full story on the University of Oxford website

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