View Full Version : Genetics of Bloody Brick

James Brody
March 18th, 2009, 11:09 AM
Blacks, like many women, seem to want genetic help with their illnesses but not their social lapses. And Shelby Steele might argue that our willingness to be sympathetic arises from "white guilt" elicited by our ownership of slaves.

Peculiar: Arabs, Chinese, and Blacks don't seem guilty about their ownership of Blacks...

Does genomic imprinting have something to do with this? Do the genes that favor high verbal skills also favor social connectivity?


Jeffrey Rosen (http://www.slate.com/id/2213958/) begins his essay:

The Case of the Bloody Brick

In March 2003, a drunk in southern England threw a brick off a bridge late at night, striking and killing a truck driver traveling along the freeway below. Armed with DNA from the blood on the brick, the British police searched the United Kingdom's national DNA database, which includes convicted felons and people who have been arrested, but failed to get a direct match. They then conducted a DNA dragnet, asking hundreds of young men in the area to donate a sample voluntarily, but still came up short. Without any other leads, the police decided to conduct what's called a "familial search" of the national DNA database. They were looking not for perfect matches to convicted offenders but for near matches, in the hope of using them to identify a relative who might have committed the crime.

The Brits have about a ten percent success rate.


"The legal limits on family searches and DNA databases are murky, but the political implications are explosive for one big reason in particular: race. African-Americans, by several estimates, represent about 13 percent of the U.S. population but 40 percent of the people convicted of felonies every year. The CODIS database of 6.6 million now includes samples from convicted offenders. As arrestees are added to this mix, CODIS may soon grow to 50 million samples, which might be even more disproportionately African-American. Hank Greely of Stanford Law School has estimated that 17 percent of African-American citizens could be identified through familial searches, as opposed to only 4 percent of the Caucasian population. Once the implications of the racial disparity become clear, there may be a reaction against ever-more-expansive forms of DNA collection that makes the debate about racial profiling look tame."

Lots more at http://www.slate.com/id/2213958/