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

Race, Ethnicity, and Genetics Working Group.
National Human Genome Research Institute,
Bethesda, MD, USA
Am J Hum Genet. 2005 Oct;77(4):519-32.


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.
Eugenics talk
Private eugenics
'Designer babies'
Psychiatric genetics
Genetic enhancement
Eugenics before Galton
Scandanavian eugenics
Human self-domestication
Selecting potential children
German science and black racism
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis
Francis Galton and contemporary eugenics
Gene therapy and performance enhancement

and further reading

BLTC Research
Utopian Surgery?
The Good Drug Guide
The Abolitionist Project
The Hedonistic Imperative
The Reproductive Revolution
MDMA: Utopian Pharmacology
Critique of Huxley's Brave New World