The guiding principles have been proposed to attempt to minimise the misinterpretation and misuse of human genetic variation research. The group included members of the humanities, social and life sciences, law and medical schools at Stanford University.
It was led by Sandra Soo-Jin Lee, who explains why these principles are important: “Since the completion of the Human Genome Project, research focused on human genetic variation has intensified. This has rekindled debate about the connection between genetic traits and human ‘racial’ differences”.
The principles include a declaration that the group does not believe that there is any scientific basis for hierarchically ordered categories of race or ethnicity and a recognition that racial and ethnic categories are created and maintained by socio-political contexts and change over time. The group cautions against “making the naïve leap to a genetic explanation for group differences in complex traits, especially for human behavioural traits such as IQ, tendency to violence or degrees of athleticism”.
According to Lee “The gene remains a powerful icon in the public imagination and is often misunderstood as being deterministic and immutable. Furthermore, history reminds us that science may easily be used to justify racial stereotypes and racist policies”.
The authors believe that their guiding principles constitute one step in an ongoing, open dialogue about these concerns and hope that they will encourage responsible practices.
Brought to light – chromobodies reveal changes in endogenous protein concentration in living cells
21.09.2018 | NMI Naturwissenschaftliches und Medizinisches Institut an der Universität Tübingen
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21.09.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
The building blocks of matter in our universe were formed in the first 10 microseconds of its existence, according to the currently accepted scientific picture. After the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago, matter consisted mainly of quarks and gluons, two types of elementary particles whose interactions are governed by quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of strong interaction. In the early universe, these particles moved (nearly) freely in a quark-gluon plasma.
This is a joint press release of University Muenster and Heidelberg as well as the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt.
Then, in a phase transition, they combined and formed hadrons, among them the building blocks of atomic nuclei, protons and neutrons. In the current issue of...
Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.
"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...
A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.
Scientists established the new species, Thesea dalioi, by comparing its physical traits, such as branch thickness and the bright red colony color, with the...
Scientists have succeeded in observing the first long-distance transfer of information in a magnetic group of materials known as antiferromagnets.
An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome, providing the research community with an invaluable resource to decode the response of fish to...
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