Le Renouveau de la médicine raciale

Ça n'était pas censé se passer comme ça. Au printemps 2000, Francis Collins et Craig Venter annoncèrent lors d'une conférence de presse à la Maison Blanche qu'ils avaient fini de séquencer " le premier jet " du génome de l'ADN humain. Le Président Bill Clinton et le Premier Ministre Tony Blair approuvant de la tête, Collins et Venter ont déclaré que les classifications raciales n'avaient pas de sens au niveau de la molécule : les êtres humains sont semblables à 99,9 % au niveau de l'ADN. Les médias du monde entier se sont emparés de la nouvelle, intrigués par la réfutation finale par la science de la philosophie raciale.

Pas si vite. Même si nous nous ressemblons à 99,9 %, il n'en existe pas moins trois milliards de paires de base pour l'ADN humain, ce qui nous donne quand même près de trois millions de points de différence (les polymorphismes nucléotidiques ou SNP) entre chaque individu et son prochain. Armés de la promesse des nouvelles technologies informatiques, l'attention scientifique s'est rivée sur les 0,1 % de différence génétique restant.

Comment la science a-t-elle pu passer, en quelques années seulement, de la répudiation de l'existence de différences raciales entre êtres humains à la génération d'une quasi obsession pour les différences raciales ?

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