Reflection #6

Week 6 lectures and reading helped me understand the correlation between race and genetics. The reading and lectures enlightened me on the many factors that come with being a specific race and that some races are more likely to have health problems or diseases. This week helped me understand which races are more prone to disease. I am very interested in this topic and still have some unanswered questions. After all, what does a person race have anything to do with developing disease? I understand that each person has a unique genetic code and that some genetic deformities cause disease. What is scary is the genetic deformities that have not yet been discovered to cause this life altering diseases. I think that there is more to developing disease that genetics or nature; there is also nurture or environment. Lately, scientists have concluded that the main factors leading to disease are race and culture. I think that it is easy for a scientist to draw a conclusion that race is the main factor in leading to disease but one must investigate the whole picture. A possibility that may be leading scientist to assume that race is the cause it biases. For example, these scientists could be white and unaware of their bias that is making them form the wrong conclusion. African Americans have been found to have the most genetic diseases such as sickle cell disease. There aren’t many diseases that are linked to the white race specifically; this may be a reason why the white race is seen as pure and above all other races. I really enjoyed this topic because it focused on the science behind races.

One thought on “Reflection #6

  1. I’m not sure what to say. It seems like you may have misunderstood some of the readings. To start with there is no correlation between “race” and genetics. “Race” is an ill defined term and there is no set of genes that delineate the “races.” Each group of people that share ancestry from a particular geographic region may have similar risks for some diseases, but that is not the same thing as saying that certain races are more prone to disease. That is in fact the opposite of what this weeks lectures and readings were about. They may sound similar but there are key differences in those statements. Some people are more likely to develop one disease or another based on the region of the world that their ancestors came from; this statement does not involve the concept of race but rather indicates the power of human adaptation to our environments over the ages. With time, our species has retained genetic mutations that have increased our survival rate when exposed to harsh environmental circumstances. In the case of the sickle-cell mutation it helps human to survive contracting Malaria. This same mutation has negative consequences however in that it produces sickle shaped red blood cells. This doesn’t mean that Africans or African Americans are more prone to disease in general. Remember that there numerous diseases that can anybody, and there is no single “race” that is weaker than others or more disease resistant than others. Maybe what you were trying to say is that anybody would have similar health issues if they suffered a low socioeconomic status?

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