Genetics has become the major tool of the life sciences. This is driven partly by technology, and partly by the belief that genes are the ultimate units of biomedical or evolutionary information. The search for variation associated with disease has motivated the Human Genome Project to construct a detailed road map of the entire set of human genetic material, and some additional form of globally representative human genome diversity resource has been proposed for the anthropological purposes of reconstructing human population history. Any such resource raises complex societal and ethical issues as well as scientific ones. However, the amount and complexity of genetic variation has frustrated hopes for simple genetic answers to important biomedical or anthropological questions, and a consequent converging of these differing interests suggests that developing a genetic variation resource will be important in many disciplines.

Keyword(s): human genetics

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  • Article Type: Review Article
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