By Olga ZHUKOVA, Cand. Sc. (Biology), head of the Human Genetics Laboratory, N. I. Vavilov Institute of General Genetics, Russian Academy of Sciences; Sergei RYCHKOV, laboratory research worker
The N. I. Vavilov Institute of General Genetics has published the first volume in the series The Genofond and the Genogeography of the Population envisaged in many volumes. The volume now off the press deals with the gene pool of Russia's population (The Genofond of Russia's Population, ed. by Professor Yuri Rychkov and Academician Yuri Altukhov). It presents data on human genetic markers among the population of Russia and neighboring countries. This is the first ever thesaurus on the gene pool of the peoples and nationalities inhabiting our country. We learn that its diversity here approaches half of the world's level. Our correspondent Igor Goryunov has interviewed Olga Zhukova and Sergei Rychkov of the Human Genetics Laboratory of the N. I. Vavilov Institute about the work done and further plans.
- With the publication of your work on Russia's gene pool our country is no longer a blank spot on the genetic map of the world's population. This is quite an achievement, sure. But why did we have to wait as long as that? Is it because such kind of research began too late?
- O. Zhukova: Well, in the 1920s Professor Viktor Bunak, an anthropologist, and Dr. Nikolai Koltsov, Corresponding Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences, undertook a study of the Russians and Byelorussians. And earlier than that, at the end of the 19th century, Alexander Lyubinsky, who examined Kronstadt's seamen, collected the first data on the propagation of the color vision anomaly among the population in various parts of Russia.
Even though the concept of gene pool ("genofond"), coupled to the notion "genogeography", was first introduced in 1928 by Alexander Serebrovsky (subsequently elected to the USSR Academy of Sciences as corresponding member), native populations came to be studied alo ... Читать далее