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Native Americans learn about DNA study at U of I

August 10, 2013

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — More than a dozen Native American scholars have taken part in a University of Illinois workshop to learn about extracting and analyzing DNA.

Anthropology professor Ripan Malhi is director of the program. He says one of its goals is to train more Native American scientists to conduct research in indigenous communities.

He tells The (Champaign) News-Gazette (http://bit.ly/17EvhJC ) that “the best way to establish trust between a scientist and a community is if that scientist is actually from that community.”

Malhi’s research involves collecting DNA from people and from ancient remains. He says he sometimes meets resistance from tribal communities upset that past researchers would come and collect samples but never return or further engage the community.

The program began this past week at the university’s Institute for Genomic Biology.

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Information from: The News-Gazette, http://www.news-gazette.com

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