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The looming crisis in human genetics

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THE ECONOMIST
Nov 13th 2009
From The World in 2010 print edition
Full article: http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=14742737

By Geoffrey Miller
University of New Mexico





In a nutshell: the new genetics will reveal much less than hoped about how to cure disease, and much more than feared about human evolution and inequality, including genetic differences between classes, ethnicities and races....

Dozens of papers will report specific genes associated with almost every imaginable trait—intelligence, personality, religiosity, sexuality, longevity, economic risk-taking, consumer preferences, leisure interests and political attitudes. The data are already collected, with DNA samples from large populations already measured for these traits....

When sequencing costs drop within a few years below $1,000 per genome, researchers in Europe, China and India will start huge projects with vast sample sizes, sophisticated bioinformatics, diverse trait measures and detailed family struct…