Rasmus Nielsen (biologist)
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Rasmus Nielsen (born January 27, 1970) is a Danish biologist and professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on statistical genetics and computational genomics as they relate to evolutionary biology. Much of his research has focused on the molecular mechanisms of evolutionary adaptations.
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- 1. Both positive and negative selection leave distinctive signatures at the molecular level that can be detected using statistical tests.
2. In population genetic data, selection may affect levels of variability, linkage disequilibrium, haplotype structure and allelic distribution in each nucleotide site (frequency spectrum). In comparative data, selection has a strong effect on the dN/dS ratio.
3. Statistical methods for detecting selection differ in the assumptions they make and how powerful they are. Most methods applicable to population genetic data rely on strong assumptions regarding the demography of the populations, while comparative methods are free of such assumptions.
4. An increasing amount of evidence suggests that positive selection is much more pervasive than previously thought.
5. Inferences regarding selection provide a powerful tool in functional studies, for example for the prediction of possible disease-related genomic regions.
- "Molecular Signatures of Natural Selection", Annu. Rev. Genet. 2005. 39:197–218
- Rasmus Nielsen at Center for Theoretical Evolutionary Biology, UC Berkeley.