View Full Version : Endogamy and disease in South Asia

07-04-16, 18:54
This is a new paper from the Genetics Department at Harvard. Reich and Moorjani are authors.

The promise of disease gene 5 discovery in South Asia


This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. All this inbreeding based on religion, language, caste groups, has consequences.

"It is tempting to think of the more than 1.5 billion people who live in South Asia as one large ethnic group, but in fact, South Asia is better viewed as comprised of very many small endogamous groups that usually marry within their own group (caste or tribe). To perform a high resolution assessment of South Asian demography, we assembled genome-wide data from over 2,000 individuals from over 250 distinct South Asian groups, more than tripling the number of diverse India groups for which such data are available, and including tribe and caste groups sampled from every state in India. We document shared ancestry across groups that correlates with geography, 37 language, and caste affiliation, and characterize the strength of the founder events that gave rise to many of these groups. Over a third of the groups— including eighteen with census sizes of more than a million—descend from founder events stronger than those in Ashkenazi Jews and Finns, both of which have high rates of recessive disease due to their histories of strong 42 founder events.

They discuss the programs set up by Orthodox Jews in the U.S. and Israel who use the services of matchmakers where people get genetic testing and go on a registry. It's supposedly confidential. The matchmakers don't suggest, or advise against, matches where both people carry the recessive disease gene. I think the euphemism is "incompatibility".

I know Jews who get the test done on their own, and get their proposed partners to get it done as well.

I can't see this as a solution for the millions upon millions of poor people in India.

It would make sense to me to just get rid of these outmoded micro-divisions among people. It's not just about avoiding major diseases. Isn't there a benefit to just more genetic diversity? Well, that's my two cents anyway, but people cling to these traditions, and I'm sure will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

07-04-16, 20:00
there is a place in the Netherlands with some genetically induced diseases
it is called Urk, and it used to be an island with fishermen

if there rises allready a problem for these cases, what problems must there have been for the small HG tribes in low-density areas?
no wonder they went looking for a spouse far away, as sometimes can be proven by strontium-isotope analysis

when I was younger, an Icelandic business relation advised me to come and visit Icealnd as young women there would prefer non-indogenous men
alas, I never got the occasion to find out