Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

DNA mutation in humans

  1. Nov 29, 2007 #1
    If you were to select healthy and smart people from our gene pool (in hopes of creating better humans), and let them reproduce in isolation without further intervention, would the generations of offspring down the line still develop the same ailments that the general population develops? Assuming that the genetic diversity is kept the same. My hunch of course is yes. If so then it is not possible to create the "super race" without constantly discarding individuals with genetic disorders.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 30, 2007 #2

    jim mcnamara

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    There is something called the "founder effect" in gene pools. Whenever a few humans colonize an isolated area, their descendants often show a lot of specialized - often not too favorable - traits. Overall, this is not a great idea for this and other reasons.
    One being that your idea of what 'smart' means and my idea could be radically different.

    The big one being that you would create optimal genetic disequilbrium - meaning genetic diversity would be low; one one new disease, for example, could kill everybody off.

    Founder Example: Navajos from the Chinle area have very high rates of near-sightedness and age-related deafness. The Navajo people were isolated and did not intermarry with other peoples very much. From the 1300's up until 1900's.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2007
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: DNA mutation in humans
  1. Mutations in humans (Replies: 6)

  2. Storing human DNA. (Replies: 12)

Loading...