Races mingling, mixing faster than ever, and that makes us genetically stronger

diversity

Recent insights from the sequencing of hundreds of thousands of human genomes in the past decade have revealed that our species’ history has been punctuated by many episodes of migration and genetic exchange. The mixing of human groups is nothing new.

What is new is the rate of mixing currently underway. Globalization means that our species is more mobile than ever before. International migration has reached record highs, as has the number of interracial marriages, leading to a surge of multiracial people…This reshuffling of human populations is affecting the very structure of the human gene pool.

A distinct advantage of this blending is that beneficial traits present in one population can make their way into the other. For instance, should a mutation appear somewhere in southeast Asia that provides protection against the Zika virus, it wouldn’t help those facing the current outbreak in South and Central America. Yet if someone with the mutation moved to South America and established a family there, the mutation could save lives and hence be passed to future generations.

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[W]e can choose to limit our capacity for ongoing biological adaptation in an effort to remain ever the same by keeping populations isolated…Alternatively, we can embrace immigration and globalization in an effort to position ourselves for a brighter future.

[T]he reshuffling of populations that results from the movement of people around the world will continue to shape the structure of our gene pool – and, by extension, our future evolution – for many generations to come.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: The future is mixed-race

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