On bottlenecks, crashes and what genetic diversity really looks like

Razib Khan in Unsupervised Learning:

Now that Prometheus has basically granted every lowly lab tech superhuman powers, it’s like drinking from a data firehose if you love ancient DNA. And the more we know, the clearer it looks that genetically, all the humans on our planet group into basically three genetic types. You could think of them as 1. the very-diverse, 2. the not-very-diverse 3. the very-not-diverse (and if we’re being thorough: 4. a recent hybrid of 2 and 3.)

Do you know which you are? You don’t have to tell me anything else about you; by the very fact that you are reading this I can almost guarantee you are in group 2 or 3. Just based on the numbers, I’ll put my money on 3. Six to one odds. (And if you’re in group 1 and haven’t been genotyped but are interested in human genetics, DM me! I can help you get a spit kit. You’re genetically very unique!)

Here is how the groups break down:

        1. Scarcely half a million of us are very-diverse.
        2. 1.14 billion of us are not-very-diverse.
        3. 6.42 billion of us are very-not-diverse.

Alone on our planet today, those maybe half a million very-diverse souls hint at our species’ one-time amazing levels of genetic diversity. In our DNA, we all contain multitudes. But once, we all contained mega-multitudes. Only the very-diverse retain much of it today.

More here.