WORLD ANTHROPOLOGICAL UNION

CONGRESS 2024​

SELECTED PANEL

( pn1 )

Molecular Anthropological Avenues: A New Arena in Anthropology as a Dominant Subdiscipline

Organizers

    Abhishikta Ghosh Roy

    India

    Anthropological Survey of India

    Face to Face/ On Site - Presence

    Arup Ratan Bandyopadhyay

    India

    Calcutta University

    Face to Face/ On Site - Presence

    Sittichai Iamsaard

    Thailand

    Khon Kaen University

    Online - Presence

WCAA Affiliation: WCAA Making Anthropology Global Task Force

IUAES Affiliation: Anthropology, Public Policy and Development Practice

Keywords:

Anthropological Fields, Molecular Anthropology, Genetics, Emerging trends

Abstract:

Anthropology is a diverse field that encompasses various subdisciplines, each converging on different aspects of human culture, society, and biology. While individuals may switch between sub disciplines, such changes often require additional education or training due to the specialized nature of each field. When changing fields within anthropology, individuals should consider the specific requirements, methodologies, and theoretical frameworks associated with the new subdiscipline. Molecular anthropology is a subdiscipline of anthropology that emerged in the latter half of the 20th century, primarily in response to advancements in molecular biology and genetics. It focuses on using molecular techniques to study aspects of human evolution, population genetics, and biological variation. This subdiscipline incorporates molecular methods to investigate questions related to human origins, migrations, and the genetic diversity within and among populations. Molecular anthropology examines genetic variation within and among human populations. By analyzing DNA, researchers can trace evolutionary relationships, investigate population movements, and understand the mechanisms behind genetic adaptations. Molecular anthropologists use genetic data to reconstruct human evolutionary history. This includes studying the genetic relationships between humans and other primates, as well as investigating the timing and patterns of key events in human evolution. Molecular anthropology continues to evolve with ongoing advancements in genetic technologies. As it intersects with other subdisciplines, such as archaeology, physical anthropology, and cultural anthropology, it enhances our holistic understanding of human evolution, adaptation, and diversity. Papers by enthusiasts talking about the challenges and modern technology initiatives would enrich the panel to potray the need of molecular anthropology in health prevention. The future of molecular anthropology research holds exciting possibilities as technological advancements continue to drive innovation in genetic and molecular techniques. Advances in next-generation sequencing technologies are expected to provide increasingly detailed genomic data. This will enable researchers to analyze complete genomes and identify subtle genetic variations, contributing to a more comprehensive understanding of human evolutionary history and population dynamics. Molecular anthropology will continue to integrate with other anthropological subdisciplines, such as archaeology, cultural anthropology, and linguistics. Collaborative research efforts that combine genetic data with archaeological and cultural evidence will provide a more holistic understanding of human history and culture. Molecular anthropology will play a significant role in medical anthropology and precision medicine. Understanding the genetic factors influencing health, disease susceptibility, and responses to treatments will contribute to personalized healthcare strategies. The future of molecular anthropology is promising, with the potential to uncover new insights into human evolution, diversity, and adaptation. However, researchers must navigate ethical challenges, address biases, and actively promote inclusivity to ensure that the benefits of molecular anthropology research are shared responsibly and ethically.

Panel Keywords