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  Anthropology, Genetic Diversity, and Ethics  
 
  
A workshop at the Center for Twentieth Century Studies   
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee   
 
 
  
Session Four:
Questions and Answers

Long: ...Well, I don't know about Boston Irish.  First of all, I should say that I work in an institute of the National Institutes of Health, that deals with alcohol abuse and alcoholism [inaudible].  But, so, we have a mission to study [this condition?].  I'm studying liver disease in veterans from different racial groups, [inaudible] alcohol patterns [inaudible] in Europe, I've done the American Indian studies, and I've also studied laboratory animals.  So I don't want to [inaudible] focused in on the [inaudible].  But we try to find populations where you can come up with some answers, and [inaudible].  And one of the things that attracted us to this population is that they're very large [families?], they're [inaudible].  Not only do you need a large kin, but you need people who are related to each other in particular ways, particular [inaudible], some of which are [inaudible] than others.  We also wanted to go to a population we thought had a narrower environment.  If I go to a general United States population with a wide spectrum of [inaudible].  If I go to a community like this, [inaudible], the income, the variations in income, is much more representative of what I would get if I went to [the inner city?].  So it does, I don't want to say that it controls environmental noise, or that there aren't environmental factors that don't get translated to the family, just like genetic factors.  But I do expect that [inaudible phrase] in the general population. 

Our institute has studied similar, funded similar large studies on general United States populations.  We also -- so some of that work is already in progress.  We also have a mandate to study all American people, and to show that we have a balanced representation of different groups.  American Indians were one very well represented, that there is -- in some groups but not others, [inaudible].  There, really, there's not a [two-bullet?] answer to that. 

Q: But if there are all these issues involving, working with indigenous people, and [inaudible] political issues, wouldn't it be logistically easier [inaudible] to alcoholism, and [inaudible] for -- 

Long: For Jon Marks' [lineage?] [laughter] 

Q: No, but my lineage is not associated with high incidences of alcoholism. 

Long: Okay.  Well, the question of would it be easier to study other populations, and the answer is a lot of populations are difficult.  I know they are.  The rate at which people agreed to participate in our studies is [inaudible] much higher than [inaudible].  So, would it be easier?  Well, it depends on what you think.  Do I go[through?] fewer IRBs?  Well, maybe, yeah.  Would I have a higher degree of participation?  Probably no.  And the other thing is, what are you likely to learn?  In this population, we have basically 600 people which we have assayed, who are related to each other in ways that we can figure out.  And you'd have to go all around the world to find [inaudible]. 

Q: [inaudible question] 

Long: Okay, we didn't sample adoptions, if they were adopted into [inaudible phrase]. 

Q: Within the family? 

Long: Yes. 

Q: They were Indian, but they were adopted from another Indian family -- you didn't exclude them? 

Long: Oh, oh.  We haven't tried to sort out parenthood yet, but that would be certainly something that pertains to all of that variation that I was trying to show you, because there's a lot, and we'd like to, we'd certainly like to pursue.  And you're absolutely correct that adoption is a [inaudible]. 

Q: [inaudible] 

Long: Yes, that would be interesting.  There are a couple of [inaudible] down there [inaudible] 

Friedlaender: Okay, one more. 

Q: [inaudible] 

Long: The agreements were used as [examples?] to study alcoholism and [inaudible phrase].  One thing that's important to point out is that we didn't [inaudible remainder of response] 

Q: This is for Jonathan.  I'm wondering if any of the research that you're involved in, in the Solomon Islands resulted in an NIH application for a patent? 

Friedlaender: No.  [inaudible]  None whatsoever. 

Turner: Okay, we're going to move into the final of the breakout sessions.  It's the third dot.  This is the last breakout session that we're going to have, and after there are two pads.  One is to come back with a list of three points that relate to successful collaboration, but the second point is to come back one point, perhaps, for a summary [thing?].  There's a half hour at the end of the next session, that [inaudible], and what I'm going to ask is for each of the invited participants to come with a single, perhaps a single point to come back, and for each of the groups to come back with one. 

 
 
 
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