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Different noses for different people


Of more than 1,000 human olfactory receptor genes, more than half seem to be pseudogenes. We investigated whether the most recent of these disruptions might still segregate with the intact form by genotyping 51 candidate genes in 189 ethnically diverse humans. The results show an unprecedented prevalence of segregating pseudogenes, identifying one of the most pronounced cases of functional population diversity in the human genome.

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Figure 1: The observed individual olfactory receptor genotypes in African American (a) and non-African (b) individuals.
Figure 2: Phenotype distribution for different ethnic groups.


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We thank M. Przeworski for helpful discussions. D.L. holds the Ralph and Lois Silver Chair in Human Genomics. This work was supported by the Crown Human Genome Center at the Weizmann Institute of Science and by an Israel Ministry of Science grant to the National Laboratory for Genome Infrastructure.

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Correspondence to Doron Lancet.

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Menashe, I., Man, O., Lancet, D. et al. Different noses for different people. Nat Genet 34, 143–144 (2003).

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