Genomics can never support caste system: Nobel laureate

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Visakhapatnam, Jan 4 (UNI) Nobel laureate Roger D Kornberg today said genomics can never support any form of discrimination, including the caste system.

Genomics will be used for tracing ancestry and understanding evolution, but ''there can never be a basis in genomics to support any form of discrimination'', Dr Kornberg said in reply to a question after delivering a lecture on 'Genomics and Society' at the 95th Indian Science Congress here.

The question, asked by a student, was whether genomics can at any time justify the caste system that was prevalent in India.

The reasons why that can never be so, the Stanford University professor said, were that humans had extremely suttle and qualitative traits and there was wide distribution of various traits among people from region to region.

Dr Kornberg won the 2006 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his discovery of how DNA stored in genes is copied and used to tell an organism how to live and grow.

His father, Arthur Kornberg, was awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine in 1959 for studies of how genetic information is transferred from one DNA molecule to another.

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