Founder Populations Can Be Valuable for Genetic Studies

The same forces that lead to increased risk of disease also make founder populations particularly useful for identifying which genes are involved in genetic disease. Since the founder population is derived from a small number of individuals, it is likely that those individuals with a particular disease have a common genetic profile, rather than having multiple different disease mutations or susceptibility alleles. This genetic homogeneity is important, since genetic heterogeneity can make identification of any particular disease allele very difficult.

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