Overview of human population-genetic studies in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the last three centuries: history and prospective.

Coll Antropol 2008 Sep;32(3):981-7

Instute for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Modern Bosnia and Herzegovina is a multi-ethnic and multi-religion country, with a very stormy history. Certain archaeological findings indicate continuous population of its territory since the Paleolithic. In time, vast number of different factors jointly influenced fascinating diversity of local human populations. A great number of small, more or less isolated, indigenous populations, make this area quite attractive for population-genetic surveys of different levels and approaches. Austro-Hungarian military physicians conducted the very first known bio-anthropological analyses of Bosnia-Herzegovina population at the end of the 19th century. Thus, the first step towards resolving the genetic structures of local B&H human populations was made. The studies that followed (conducted throughout most of the 20th century) were primarily based on the observation of various phenotypic traits. This stage was followed by the examination of various cytogenetic and fundamental DNA based molecular markers. The efforts undertaken over the last three centuries revealed "human genetic treasure" in Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, even now, after all the studies that were conducted, many interesting features remain to be discovered and described within the existing local human populations.

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September 2008
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