Even with the human genome in hand, geneticists are split about how to deal with issues of race, genetics and medicine.
Some favor using genetic markers to sort humans into groups based on ancestral origin – groups that may show meaningful health differences. Others argue that genetic variations across the human species are too gradual to support such divisions and that any categorisation based on genetic differences is arbitrary.
These issues have been discussed in depth by a multidisciplinary group – ranging from geneticists and psychologists to historians and philosophers – led by Sandra Soo-Jin Lee of Stanford University, California.
Now the group has released a set of 10 guiding principles for the scientific community, published as an open letter in this week's Genome Biology.