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Endogamy and harmful genetic variants in India

Facts for Prelims (FFP)



Source: TH

 Context: A study by researchers at the Institute for Human Genetics, University of California, focused on genetic differences among South Asian populations, particularly in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

  • The researchers found distinct genetic patterns among different regions, including smaller geographies within India, attributed to endogamous practices like caste-based and region-based marriages.


About Endogamy:

  • Endogamy is the practice of marrying within a specific social, cultural, or ethnic group, often with the aim of preserving traditions, customs, and identity within that group.


Key Findings:

  • The study also revealed a worrying trend of higher frequency of homozygous genotypes in the South Asian cohort, which can increase the risk of genetic disorders.
  • The research highlighted the need for a detailed map of the Indian genome to understand the country’s incredible diversity and address major hereditary disorders.

Conducting such studies within the country would also protect vulnerable communities from exploitation. Harnessing the power of genetic studies could lead to interventions for major health concerns in India.