A Genetic Investigation into a Lebanese Population: from STR's to SNP’s
In the past, the present and the future, Lebanon has been an important link between the East and the West. It is always known as the ‘Switzerland of the East’. Over the years, it was a hotspot for different civilizations that uniquely shaped the genomic backbone of the current Lebanese. It is also a good representation of genetically admixed individuals with diverse phenotype characteristics and unique features. Lebanon, quite like other Middle Eastern populations, lacks sufficient genetic studies that helps to better comprehend the complex genomic composition of different traits and diseases. The lack of good representation of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in global studies has led to ambiguity in discovering special ancestry markers and patterns in the Lebanese genome. Yet, in this study, a thorough investigation into a Lebanese collection shows new patterns that potentially would be helpful in forensic and genealogical applications. The investigation into the autosomal and Y-STRs revealed unique alleles that would be valuable in future forensic investigation analysis. In addition, the assessment of phenotype prediction models to predict eye, hair and skin color showed promising results in terms of prediction performance. Those results encourage the future use of intelligence tools in the regions that in return would aid in serving justice and furthering science research. In fact, ancestry and genetic distance studies confirms the presence of admixture within Lebanon between Europe and North Africa.
Walsh, Purdue University.
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