CHICAGO, February 15, 2014 (AFP) – Advances in genetic sequencing are giving rise to a new era of scientific racism, despite decades of efforts to reverse attitudes used to justify the slave trade and Nazi theology, experts said Friday. Another concern is the ancestry tests that are now commonly sold online, a trend which feeds the notion that one’s ethnic heritage may indicate the state of one’s health, said Yolanda Moses, a cultural anthropologist at the University of California, describing these tests as “misleading.”
– Race and criminal justice –
Over the past decade, the expansion of DNA databases which include genetic profiles from people arrested — but not convicted of crimes — is also a concern, she said.
“Genetics have a profound impact on race and the criminal justice system,” she said.
Ironically, a new focus on race as a basis for genomics began when the National Institutes of Health — the world’s largest funder of research — mandated all its genetic studies to have as diverse a representation as possible, in an effort to eliminate health disparities and include more people of color in clinical trials.
When the Human Genome Project first started in the 1980s, this was not the case.