GENE CONSERVATION AND HUMAN GENETICS
KRISHNA R. DRONAMRAJU *
Genetics Center, P.O. Box 772481, Texas 77215, U.S.A.
*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Gene conservation or the conservation of biological variation is usually considered with reference to the conservation of rare species of plants and animals. In a similar fashion, we must also think of conservation of human variation. To be specific, just as rare genomes or combinations of genes, which may be diminishing in frequency or vanishing altogether, representative segments of human genomes too need to be preserved for posterity. A well-known example would be resistance to infectious diseases or immunity to certain types of cancer or other diseases. To understand these, medical geneticists today have to study are isolated populations such as the tribal or abriginal groups in many parts of the world. On the one hand we cannot take human biological variation for granted and must strive to preserve such variation. On the other hand every effort should be made to increase numbers of individuals with desirable qualities, and this can be done best by prevention of genetic diseases and defects by modern techniques.