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Advances in science and technology have allowed a team of geneticists to combine genetic data with information on ancestry and different health records, identifying centuries-old patterns of immigration in New York City.
As Gillian Belbin, a graduate student from the Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, and also first author of the study stated: “New York City is a major immigration entry point from many corners of the world, which has made it one of the hot spots in this regard in the world for many years and even today.”.
“The structure of the population is not too complex but it is very interesting from different points of view, where genetics itself is included, something that other cities with great diversity in the world are achieving, such as Shanghai and London, among many others.”.
Nowadays They are investigating many aspects related to immigration to this city, especially ethnic differences, the effects of immigration on different historical events and trends of the last generations and past centuries.
For this, an anonymous database is being used that has been compiled throughout history as well as the genetics of some 32,000 patients at Mount Sinai Hospital They have volunteered to share their medical information with the research team.
Among the many genetic data they work with, it should be noted that they include approximately close to one million markers across the genome, which is compared between the different individuals, as well as between the populations of yesteryear and the current ones in order to be able to determine the hidden patterns of kinship, find correlations with genes of great medical importance and be able to classify individuals into groups that share different genetic characteristics.
Dr. Kenny, belonging to this group of researchers, stated that there is something very interesting, especially between the Garifuna people, a native of parts of Central and South America, who arrived in slave ships to the city. These inhabitants did not have any genetic evidence of European ancestry, which makes clear the great genetic variety that can be found in this city.
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