Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
Am J Hum Genet. 2005 Oct;77(4):519-32. Epub 2005 Aug 29.

The use of racial, ethnic, and ancestral categories in human genetics research.

Abstract

The global dispersal of anatomically modern humans over the past 100,000 years has produced patterns of phenotypic variation that have exerted--and continue to exert--powerful influences on the lives of individuals and the experiences of groups. The recency of our common ancestry and continued gene flow among populations have resulted in less genetic differentiation among geographically distributed human populations than is observed in many other mammalian species. Nevertheless, differences in appearance have contributed to the development of ideas about "race" and "ethnicity" that often include the belief that significant inherited differences distinguish humans. The use of racial, ethnic, and ancestral categories in genetics research can imply that group differences arise directly through differing allele frequencies, with little influence from socially mediated mechanisms. At the same time, careful investigations of the biological, environmental, social, and psychological attributes associated with these categories will be an essential component of cross-disciplinary research into the origins, prevention, and treatment of common diseases, including those diseases that differ in prevalence among groups.

PMID:
16175499
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1275602
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk