Lluís Quintana-Murci

Human Peoples

Human Peoples

On the Genetic Traces of Human Evolution, Migration and Adaptation


We are living through a revolution in knowledge. Over the last twenty years, genetics has shed new light on the history of humanity. It allows us to analyze an individual's genome, compare it with populations all over the world, then show its place in migrations across continents.

Here one of the scientists at the forefront of this research, biologist Lluís Quintana-Murci, reveals how population genetics is transforming our understanding of who we are. Thanks to its many discoveries, we now know that Homo Sapiens freely mixed with other human species, including Neanderthals, which allowed them to adapt to new environments and survive disease. Studies also show that we have multiple genetic ancestors: our maternal ancestors lived in East Africa while our paternal ancestors came from South Africa. These cutting-edge findings will shape our future too, offering the key to medicine tailored to individuals.

But the greatest finding of population genetics, Quintana-Murci shows, is that without diversity, without difference, there is no evolution. Humans are the product of our ancestors, of a long odyssey of migrations across the globe, of adaptation and constant mixing with other populations.

Filled with fascinating insights from the front-line of research, Human Peoples is a pioneering guide to the ground-breaking science of our shared past.