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Trends Genet DOI:10.1016/j.tig.2011.12.001

Human evolutionary genomics: ethical and interpretive issues.

Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsVitti, JJ, Cho, MK, Tishkoff, SA, Sabeti, PC
JournalTrends Genet
Date Published2012 Mar
KeywordsAnimals, Bioethics, Evolution, Molecular, Genome, Human, Genomics, Humans, Selection, Genetic

Genome-wide computational studies can now identify targets of natural selection. The unique information about humans these studies reveal, and the media attention they attract, indicate the need for caution and precision in communicating results. This need is exacerbated by ways in which evolutionary and genetic considerations have been misapplied to support discriminatory policies, by persistent misconceptions of these fields and by the social sensitivity surrounding discussions of racial ancestry. We discuss the foundations, accomplishments and future directions of human evolutionary genomics, attending to ways in which the interpretation of good science can go awry, and offer suggestions for researchers to prevent misapplication of their work.


Alternate JournalTrends Genet.
PubMed ID22265990
PubMed Central IDPMC5210170
Grant ListT32 GM007753 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States