Genetic Diversity

New genetic data reveals what most of us already know intuitively, genetic diversity is much more varied and complex than previous studies and textbooks would suggest - statements like "We share 99.5% of our genes with one another." Previous studies did not properly measure the level of copies or deletions among individuals. The existence of high genetic variation makes sense given the large differences seen among humans, but similarly reflects the overall health of our species. Genetic diversity can be thought of as genetic wealth. Genetic poverty, a lack of diversity, comes from intense stress, isolation, or bottlenecking of a population which surely has occurred in the past for almost every species alive today. Indeed, the eugenicists of the twentieth century had their priorities completely backwards. This new understanding of genetic diversity will also help to better treat genetic diseases which are rapidly becoming the limiting factor on human health as infectious disease and malnutrition wane.

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