Author’s Note: Post was written without access only to the abstract, not the full text, of the journal article in question. Note that the argument is not with the methods or results of the research, but with how the research question has been presented.
University of Chicago Medicine & Biological Sciences tweeted the following tweet on Twitter today highlighting the work of post-doc Laure Ségurel on genetic risks for Type 2 Diabetes:
The work itself is interesting in its own right. Investigating the population genetic history of genetic markers associated with Type 2 Diabetes risk could have multiple applications, beyond the high level of intellectual interest.
The question used to frame the research, however, troubles me, because it plays to general misconceptions about the evolutionary dominance and efficiency of natural selection in humans:
Why is this deleterious disease so common, while the associated genetic variants should be removed by natural selection? –Ségurel et al (Eur J Hum Genet. 2013 Jan 23. doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2012.295)