Mende in Sierra Leone [MSL]

The biomaterials currently available for this population are shown in the table below: 

Population  Mende in Sierra Leone [MSL]
DNA Sample Panel  MGP00021
Individual DNA Samples  128
Individual Cell Cultures  128

Principal Investigators

  • Robert Garry - Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 
  • Pardis Sabeti - Harvard University, Broad Institute, Cambridge, MA 
  • Donald Grant - Kenema Government Hospital, Kenema, Sierra Leone

Population Description

These cell lines and DNA samples were prepared from blood samples collected in Sierra Leone. The samples are from a mix of parent- adult child trios and unrelated individuals who identified themselves as Mende. All individuals identified themselves as having four Mende grandparents.

It is important to include a reference to “Sierra Leone” when describing the source of these samples. Including the name of the country where these samples were collected reinforces the point that the sample set, while not genetically “atypical”, does not necessarily represent all Mende people, whose population history is complex. The population should not be described merely as “African”, “Sub-Saharan African”, “West African”, or “Sierra Leonian”, since each of those designators encompasses many populations with different geographic ancestries.

After the complete descriptor “Mende in Sierra Leone” has been provided, it is acceptable to use the shorthand label “Mende” or the abbreviation “MSL” in the remainder of the article or presentation. However, the full descriptor for each population should be provided before the shorthand labels are used; this will help to avoid the risks associated with over-generalization of findings.

It may be scientifically appropriate to pool data from these samples with data from other ancestrally related groups, when the data show that the groups have similar allele frequencies. If the groups all have African ancestry, the designation "African ancestry" (abbreviation: AFA) to describe the combined analysis panel is recommended. If only groups very closely related to the Mende have similar allele frequencies, then another abbreviation may need to be used.

Additional guidance about how to refer to the populations can be found at Guidelines for Referring to the Populations in Publications and Presentations.

Policies and Guidelines