With a population of 330,000, Iceland is a country with its own peculiarities. Genes are no exception: isolation and inbreeding throughout its history make this northern Atlantic island a paradise for genetic studies. Present-day Icelanders have been affected by 1,100 years of profound genetic drift.
What is the biggest problem in Iceland?
Although Iceland is famous for its unspoiled natural beauty, there are areas where care must be exercised. One of the most serious environmental problems in Iceland is the loss of vegetation by wind erosion. The Icelandic Soil Conservation Service has been fighting soil erosion since 1907 with considerable success.
Do Icelanders have genetic diseases?
For example, Icelanders carry just one mutation of BRCA2, a gene that causes breast cancer. Only 0.8 percent of Icelandic people possess the gene, but it holds an 86 percent probability of causing cancer in women who carry it, Stefansson said.
Which country has the best genetics?
Icelands record of low immigration and its genealogical records going back 1,000 years make it a paradise for geneticists. A third or more of the population has already donated a DNA sample - but a new push to increase that figure is meeting some resistance.
Why is Iceland a good place to identify disease genes?
Iceland is unique in many ways: It has active volcanoes, semi-tasty whale-based dishes, and a kickass travel advertising campaign. Its also the best place in the world to do genetic research.