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Discovering human history from stomach bacteria

Todd R Disotell

Author Affiliations

Department of Anthropology, New York University, 25 Waverly Place, New York, NY 10003, USA

Genome Biology 2003, 4:213  doi:10.1186/gb-2003-4-5-213

Published: 28 April 2003


Recent analyses of human pathogens have revealed that their evolutionary histories are congruent with the hypothesized pattern of ancient and modern human population migrations. Phylogenetic trees of strains of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori and the polyoma JC virus taken from geographically diverse groups of human beings correlate closely with relationships of the populations in which they are found.