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Surprising Science

Discovering the Biology of Race

What does race mean? It is the lingering question in the discovery of the biology of race. Scientists study the various diseases that affect people of different races; however, it is believed this is not the appropriate route. 

Article written by guest writer Rin Mitchell

What’s the Latest Development?

It is believed that the current medical approach that focuses on “race-oriented genetic precursors of disease” is negligible work. It is suggested that there needs to be another way to conduct laboratory studies that will call attention to “comparative ill-health of people of color, the poor, and the medically undeserved.” According to the article, students who were questioned in a study believe that daily events contribute to bodily changes and have an effect on declining human health or the resistance to diseases, “events that the political economy ensures are more or less common depending on which racial categories one is assigned to.” Three professionals have written books that examine how genetics create “new biological states via processes.” The first author focuses on how science and medicine group race. The author points out how race plays a major importance in medical practiceso much so that the machines are wired with race identifiers. The second author confirms biology and race go hand in hand, but believes in the possibility that biology is a product of racerather than the other way around. She focuses her case study on black and white women with breast cancer in Chicago. The third author doesn’t touch on race, but instead places his focus on epigenetics, “the study of gene modifications induced by local changes in the environment.” 

What’s the Big Idea? 

Biomedical research continues to point out the difference in health outcomes for different races, but it is a “fruitless labor.” It is believed that scientists need to change their approach in their investigation. The meaning of race may continue to linger, but the most important thing to focus on right now is conducting significant research and addressing health inequality. 


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