A new paper looking at the genetic structure of Pacific Islanders has just come out. The authors type nearly a thousand markers on 952 individuals from 41 Pacific populations. I've not had a chance to read the paper in any depth, but it looks really interesting. Studies of single loci such as the Y or mtDNA offer a very noisy view of human history as chance events in the history of the maternal or paternal line can distort the view of history that the Y or mtDNA give us. This kind of study (with many unlinked markers) offers a huge advantage over mtDNA or Y chromosome studies as it represents a truly genomic view of population history. This paper also nicely ties in with the recent paper on native american ancestry (using the same set of microsatellite markers) . Combined with the spate of papers on finer scale structure within continents (e.g. here and here ) this is a great time for learning about the genetic history of populations.