Genetic research in Indigenous health: significant progress, substantial challenges

Public health Indigenous health Diseases Australia

This article looks at the measurements and biological samples used in health research, it is the extraction and analysis of genetic material that has caused the most controversy in indigenous health research across the globe.

No other kind of research has a specific international non-governmental organisation dedicated to opposing it — the Indigenous People’s Council on Biocolonialism. This United States-based organisation was founded in 1999 in the wake of the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP). That project was a worldwide effort to collect DNA samples from indigenous populations for population genetic research that aimed to understand the ancient migration of Homo sapiens out of Africa beginning 100 000 years ago, and populating the rest of the world.

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