A Hunt for Genes That Betrayed a Desert People
An interesting piece from the always worthwhile science section of the New York Times discusses the Bedouins, an ethnic group whose ancestors long roamed the Middle East and married their cousins. The Bedouins now have some serious genetic diseases. Money quote:
Bedouins do not carry more genetic mutations than the general population. But because so many marry relatives — some 65 percent of Bedouin in Israel's Negev marry first or second cousins — they have a significantly higher chance of marrying someone who carries the same mutations, increasing the odds they will have children with genetic diseases, researchers say. Hundreds have been born with such diseases among the Negev Bedouin in the last decade.