Human genome maps were published in 2001. Race was not a scientific project, leaders of the project maintained at the release. But apparently this was not entirely the case.
Studies of the human genome project revealed that there was a 99.9 percent similarity between any two humans on the universe at the molecular level. This meant that ethnic differences were in fact only skin deep.
But of that 0.1 percent difference has genetic variations known as single nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPs; pronounced as ‘snips’. These are the small variations in genes which account for the difference in hair color or the color of their eyes. But more importantly snips are what accounts for the reaction of people of different ethnicity to drugs and why individuals of certain ethnicity are more prone to certain diseases.
The data generated direct scientists to conclude that SNP’s can lead to specific diseases and conditions being automatically allied to specific races which in effect may point towards ethnic discrimination on scientific grounds. Some scientists believe that isolating race from scientific beliefs is dangerous.
Gene variation frequencies can now be used as ethnic markers which are one way of identifying with a fair degree of probability from which part of the population group an individual originates.
The down side to this discovery was the probability that the conclusions could promote discrimination against minorities on grounds of ethnicity.
It is believed that human’s have about 1.5 million SNP’s in their genetic makeup.
DNA from five volunteers was used to create the ethnic map prepared by Celera Genomics, a non-profit company participating in the project. Celera maintained that the diverse ethnicity had no bearing on the human genome map it created.
Scientists stand divided on the issue.
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