Genetic Ancestral Testing Cannot Deliver On Its Promise, Study Warns

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Genetic Ancestral Testing Cannot Deliver On Its Promise, Study Warns

October 20, 2007

 

For many Americans, the potential to track one’s DNA to a specific country, region or tribe with a take-home kit is highly alluring. But while the popularity of genetic ancestry testing is rising – particularly among African Americans – the technology is flawed and could spawn unwelcome societal consequences, according to researchers from several institutions nationwide, including the University of California, Berkeley.

“Because race has such profound social, political and economic consequences, we should be wary of allowing the concept to be redefined in a way that obscures its historical roots and disconnects from its cultural and socioeconomic context,” says the article to be published in the journal Science.

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“I hope to never see a day when genetic ancestry tracing with its inconclusive, continent-based affiliations supersedes treaties between specific nations and citizenship criteria that require documentation of named ancestors,” said Kimberly TallBear, co-author of the article and a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow with joint appointments in UC Berkeley’s Departments of Gender and Women’s Studies; Rhetoric; and Environmental Science, Policy, and Management.

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By | 2017-10-01T22:11:25+00:00 October 20th, 2007|Categories: Kim TallBear, Media|0 Comments

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