1. Shared language, diverging genetic histories: high-resolution analysis of Y-chromosome variability in Calabrian and Sicilian Arbereshe.

    European Journal of Human Genetics 24(4):600 (2016) PMID 26130483 PMCID PMC4929864

    The relationship between genetic and linguistic diversification in human populations has been often explored to interpret some specific issues in human history. The Albanian-speaking minorities of Sicily and Southern Italy (Arbereshe) constitute an important portion of the ethnolinguistic variab...
  2. The Greeks in the West: genetic signatures of the Hellenic colonisation in southern Italy and Sicily.

    European Journal of Human Genetics 24(3):429 (2016) PMID 26173964 PMCID PMC4757772

    Greek colonisation of South Italy and Sicily (Magna Graecia) was a defining event in European cultural history, although the demographic processes and genetic impacts involved have not been systematically investigated. Here, we combine high-resolution surveys of the variability at the uni-parent...
  3. Corrigendum: Global diversity in the TAS2R38 bitter taste receptor: revisiting a classic evolutionary PROPosal.

    Scientific reports 6:28406 (2016) PMID 27346370 PMCID PMC4921822

  4. Global diversity in the TAS2R38 bitter taste receptor: revisiting a classic evolutionary PROPosal.

    Scientific reports 6:25506 (2016) PMID 27138342 PMCID PMC4853779

    The ability to taste phenylthiocarbamide (PTC) and 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP) is a polymorphic trait mediated by the TAS2R38 bitter taste receptor gene. It has long been hypothesized that global genetic diversity at this locus evolved under pervasive pressures from balancing natural selection. ...
  5. The Role of Recent Admixture in Forming the Contemporary West Eurasian Genomic Landscape

    Current Biology 25(21):2878 (2015)

  6. The Role of Recent Admixture in Forming the Contemporary West Eurasian Genomic Landscape.

    Current Biology 25(19):2518 (2015) PMID 26387712 PMCID PMC4714572

    Over the past few years, studies of DNA isolated from human fossils and archaeological remains have generated considerable novel insight into the history of our species. Several landmark papers have described the genomes of ancient humans across West Eurasia, demonstrating the presence of large-...
  7. Estimating Sampling Selection Bias in Human Genetics: A Phenomenological Approach.

    PLoS ONE 10(10):e0140146 (2015) PMID 26452043 PMCID PMC4599962

    This research is the first empirical attempt to calculate the various components of the hidden bias associated with the sampling strategies routinely-used in human genetics, with special reference to surname-based strategies. We reconstructed surname distributions of 26 Italian communities with ...
  8. Detection of phylogenetically informative polymorphisms in the entire euchromatic portion of human Y chromosome from a Sardinian sample.

    BMC Research Notes 8(1):174 (2015) PMID 25926048 PMCID PMC4423141

    Next-Generation Sequencing methods have led to a great increase in phylogenetically useful markers within the male specific portion of the Y chromosome, but previous studies have limited themselves to the study of the X-degenerate regions. DNA was extracted from peripheral blood samples of adult...
  9. Trabecular bone structure in the primate wrist.

    Journal of Morphology 275(5):572 (2014) PMID 24323904

    Trabecular (or cancellous) bone has been shown to respond to mechanical loading throughout ontogeny and thus can provide unique insight into skeletal function and locomotion in comparative studies of living and fossil mammalian morphology. Trabecular bone of the hand may be particularly function...
  10. Genetic signature of differential sensitivity to stevioside in the Italian population.

    Genes & Nutrition 9(3):401 (2014) PMID 24705770 PMCID PMC4026437

    The demand for diet products is continuously increasing, together with that for natural food ingredients. Stevioside and other steviol glycosides extracted from the leaves of the plant Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni are the first natural high-potency sweeteners to be approved for consumption in the U...
  11. Mitochondrial and Y chromosome haplotype motifs as diagnostic markers of Jewish ancestry: a reconsideration.

    Frontiers in Genetics 5:384 (2014) PMID 25431579 PMCID PMC4229899

    Several authors have proposed haplotype motifs based on site variants at the mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) and the non-recombining portion of the Y chromosome (NRY) to trace the genealogies of Jewish people. Here, we analyzed their main approaches and test the feasibility of adopting motifs as an...
  12. Linguistic, geographic and genetic isolation: a collaborative study of Italian populations.

    Journal of anthropological sciences = Rivista d... 92:201 (2014) PMID 24607994

    The animal and plant biodiversity of the Italian territory is known to be one of the richest in the Mediterranean basin and Europe as a whole, but does the genetic diversity of extant human populations show a comparable pattern? According to a number of studies, the genetic structure of Italian ...
  13. Increased efficiency in geographic ancestry assignment and human identification by combining lineage profiles: The case of the Iranians.

    American Journal of Human Biology 26(3):413 (2014) PMID 24470040

    This research is a first empirical attempt to quantify the increase of the among-groups variance and the probative value of a DNA evidence when combining profiles based on markers with uniparental inheritance. Yfiler and HVS-I panels of loci were analyzed in 130 healthy unrelated males from six ...
  14. Geographic population structure analysis of worldwide human populations infers their biogeographical origins.

    Nature Communications 5:3513 (2014) PMID 24781250 PMCID PMC4007635

    The search for a method that utilizes biological information to predict humans' place of origin has occupied scientists for millennia. Over the past four decades, scientists have employed genetic data in an effort to achieve this goal but with limited success. While biogeographical algorithms us...
  15. Genetic variation in taste receptor pseudogenes provides evidence for a dynamic role in human evolution.

    BMC Evolutionary Biology 14:198 (2014) PMID 25216916 PMCID PMC4172856

    Human bitter taste receptors are encoded by a gene family consisting of 25 functional TAS2R loci. In addition, humans carry 11 TAS2R pseudogenes, some of which display evidence for substantial diversification among species, showing lineage-specific loss of function. Since bitter taste is thought...
  16. Low-pass DNA sequencing of 1200 Sardinians reconstructs European Y-chromosome phylogeny.

    Science 341(6145):565 (2013) PMID 23908240

    Genetic variation within the male-specific portion of the Y chromosome (MSY) can clarify the origins of contemporary populations, but previous studies were hampered by partial genetic information. Population sequencing of 1204 Sardinian males identified 11,763 MSY single-nucleotide polymorphisms...
  17. The GenoChip: a new tool for genetic anthropology.

    Genome Biology and Evolution 5(5):1021 (2013) PMID 23666864 PMCID PMC3673633

    The Genographic Project is an international effort aimed at charting human migratory history. The project is nonprofit and nonmedical, and, through its Legacy Fund, supports locally led efforts to preserve indigenous and traditional cultures. Although the first phase of the project was focused o...
  18. Molecular and functional evolution of human DHRS2 and DHRS4 duplicated genes.

    Gene 511(2):461 (2012) PMID 23036705

    Human DHRS2 and DHRS4 genes code for similar NADP-dependent short-chain carbonyl-reductase enzymes having different substrate specificity. Human DHRS2 and DHRS4 enzymes share several common sequence motives including residues responsible for coenzyme binding as well as for the intimate catalytic...
  19. The peopling of Europe and the cautionary tale of Y chromosome lineage R-M269.

    Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological ... 279(1730):884 (2012) PMID 21865258 PMCID PMC3259916

    Recently, the debate on the origins of the major European Y chromosome haplogroup R1b1b2-M269 has reignited, and opinion has moved away from Palaeolithic origins to the notion of a younger Neolithic spread of these chromosomes from the Near East. Here, we address this debate by investigating fre...
  20. High altitude adaptation in Daghestani populations from the Caucasus.

    Humangenetik 131(3):423 (2012) PMID 21904933 PMCID PMC3312735

    We have surveyed 15 high-altitude adaptation candidate genes for signals of positive selection in North Caucasian highlanders using targeted re-sequencing. A total of 49 unrelated Daghestani from three ethnic groups (Avars, Kubachians, and Laks) living in ancient villages located at around 2,000...