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Genomes: Comparing southern African sequences

The complete genome sequences of an indigenous hunter–gatherer from Namibia’s Kalahari Desert and of a Bantu from South Africa are presented in this issue, together with protein-coding regions from three other hunter–gatherer groups from the Kalahari. Analysis of genetic variance in what is probably the oldest known modern human lineage will contribute to understanding human diversity, and facilitate the inclusion of southern Africans in medical genomics research projects. Initial observations from the data include the fact that the Bushmen seem more different from each other, in terms of nucleotide substitutions, than typical Asians and Europeans. More speculatively, variants between these genomes and the existing data sets may point to genetic adaptations for an agricultural lifestyle. The cover depicts foraging Bushmen of the southern Kalahari, the group from which the full genome sequence was obtained.

Nature Volume 463 Issue 7283

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