Tag: genetic

White supremacists believe in genetic ‘purity’. Science shows no such thing exists

Far-right white supremacist ideology is on the rise in Europe, North America and Australia. It appeals to a racist notion whereby many white supremacists see themselves as members of a “pure” race that is at risk of dilution and contamination.

Science does not support the idea of pure races with ancient origins. In the past few years, genetic sequencing of ancient and modern humans and related species has given us a flood of new information about how human populations have evolved.

The evidence reveals a history of ongoing genetic mingling, due to interbreeding between different populations and even species. Humans from different groups had children together, and even with Neanderthals and members of other now-extinct hominin species.

This mingling occurred constantly in the long process of human migration across the globe. Europeans inhabit one region of a large genetic continuum and are no more or less “pure” than any other

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New methods help to accurately identify cancers’ hidden genetic losses, duplications

Understanding the specific mutations that contribute to different forms of cancer is critical to improving diagnosis and treatment. But limitations in DNA sequencing technology make it difficult to detect some major mutations often linked to cancer, such as the loss or duplication of parts of chromosomes.

Now, methods developed by Princeton computer scientists will allow researchers to more accurately identify these mutations in cancerous tissue, yielding a clearer picture of the evolution and spread of tumors than was previously possible.

Losses or duplications in chromosomes are known to occur in most solid tumors, such as ovarian, pancreatic, breast and prostate tumors. As cells grow and divide, slip-ups in the processes of copying and separating DNA can also lead to the deletion or duplication of individual genes on chromosomes, or the duplication of a cell’s entire genome — all 23 pairs of human

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Scientists raid DNA to explore Vikings’ genetic roots

In popular imagination, Vikings were robust, flaxen-haired Scandinavian warriors who plundered the coastlines of northern Europe in sleek wooden battleships. But despite ancient sagas that celebrate seafaring adventurers with complex lineages, there remains a persistent, and pernicious, modern myth that Vikings were a distinctive ethnic or regional group of people with a “pure” genetic bloodline. Like the iconic “Viking” helmet, it’s a fiction that arose in the simmering nationalist movements of late 19th-century Europe. Yet it remains celebrated today among various white supremacist groups that use the supposed superiority of the Vikings as a way to justify hate, perpetuating the stereotype along the way.




© Photograph by David Guttenfelder, Nat Geo Image Collection

Reenactors

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