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Duana Fullwiley is a medical anthropologist who graduated in 2002 from UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco with her Ph.D. Fullwiley has conducted a multi-sited field research in the United States about the emergent technologies that measure human genetic diversity among populations and between individuals. Her main interest is how scientists promote genetic citizenship. This was Dr. Fullwiley’s second book project and explains exactly how U.S. political concepts of diversity, usually glossed as “race,” function in genetic recruitment protocols and study designs for research on complex diseases, “tailored medicine,” ancestry tracing, and personal genomics.

Dr. Fullwiley’s first book is The Encultured Gene: Sickle Cell Health Politics and Biologicalss Difference in West Africa. This book was written in 2011, and received the 2014 Robert B. Textor and Family Prize for Excellence in Anticipatory Anthropology from the American Anthropological Association, and the 2011 Amaury Talbot Prize for African Anthropology from the Royal Anthropological Institute. This book used data gathered from ethnographic fieldwork in Senegal, France, and the United States. She uses her fieldwork data and weaves together postcolonial genetic science, the effects of structural adjustment on health resources, and patient activism between Senegal and France to show how African sickle cell has been ordered in ethnic-national terms at the level of the gene.

She used to be a professor at Harvard and is now an associate professor at Stanford University teaching courses in medical anthropology and anthropology of science. She is currently in the research stages for her second book Tabula Raza: Mapping Race and Human Diversity in American Genome Science.

The world as a global structure is composed of an “admixture” of genes. This “admixture” is a population whose genes consist of different inherited blood lines (i.e. European, African, Asian, and Latino).  Among these different descendants, race becomes an issue. Race is viewed throughout the Fullwiley, and Weiss and Long article as a way in distinguishing health disparities, a way of explaining Darwinism, and a crucial statistical relation to biology. Within this particular framework, population genetics and ancestral lineage plays a role in human settlement and development of the human body. This brings me to my article entitles, “The Case against Biological Realism about Race: From Darwin to the Post-Genomic Era.” In this piece, Maglo argues that race functions in contemporary human population genetics, more like a convenient instrumental concept than biological category for picking out sub specific evolutionary kinds.

Evolution is a term coined by Charles Darwin. It is described as the development of different types of organisms by natural selection. In Darwin’s description race was presented in his theory of application; however Maglo describes how race through the idea of “progression” among a species has created a framework of racial hierarchy that is inevitable in the biogenetics world. He explains how science as accumulated findings among minority groups, specifically African Americans has been the blue print to disease. A group of researchers argues that race has an objective biological reality, and is a valid prediction tool of genetic and phenotypic variation within our species, while another group counters that race is biologically meaningless and a weak predictive factor of human genetic and phenotypic variation. Which group of researchers would you agree with? I would personally argue the second group. Race is a social construct. IT was created as a subsection by Herbert Spencer with Social Darwinism in the 19th century. Social Darwinism states that Darwin’s idea is valid, but only through social progress. Well, we don’t need to embark upon the history of what “group” could socially progress, I’m sure the answer is pretty straight forward. With that being said, progression among the human species is a science created through race.

The biological make-up of the human body regardless of skin color, works as a system designed for survival. The genes that a human body is composed of may be different, but their functions unless otherwise defective, all contribute to homeostasis. Without, the critiques of previous evolutionists/scientists (Spencer, etc.) biology would simply only contain a genus/species relation, not a subspecies among human organisms. Even the idea of polygenesis is a key principle of evolution among present day scientists/biologists. Why? Humans are humans, Apes are Apes, and microorganisms are microorganisms. Polygenesis relates to the idea that some humans (i.e. minority groups-African Americans) are a subgroup of individuals that share common characteristics. Who came up with this? The issue is one of high concern among researchers today. These concepts began to group certain people in an array of abnormalities that doesn’t necessarily apply on a biological level. Now, race is clearly a visual aspect that has been created to systematically categorize development, substanciabilty, and tactical relations of disease. Is it right, no; however, is there a solution to the erasing RACE completely in regards to biology? Is this possible?

Maglo, Koffi N. Perspectives on Science 2011, vol.19, no.4. 2011. "The Case against Biological Realism about Race: From Darwin to the Post-Genomic Era