Sunday, September 22, 2013

Review: Using Racial, Ethnic, and Ancestral Categories in Genetics Research

Scientific classification of people into groups has been a historically contentious issue, and the advent of Human Genetics research has made this issue of categorization even more pertinent. This article is a review that covers the myriad of human categorization issues that are inherent in conducting human genetics research. It highlights the potential for biological classifications of people to result in cultural controversy while touching on subjects such as biological classification of race and the social construct of race itself, and human genetic diversity and origins and using ancestry as a category. It also confronts issues such as sampling bias in racial categories, and the ease at which genetic components of disease can be misattributed. It concludes by offering useful alternatives to using these potentially harmful categories in human genetics research.

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