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Critical Dialogues in Latinx StudiesA Reader$
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Ana Y. Ramos-Zayas and Mérida M. Rúa

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781479805198

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479805198.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 27 June 2022



Complicando the Double Helix

(p.104) 8 DNA+Latinx
Critical Dialogues in Latinx Studies

Nelly Rosario

NYU Press

In 2013, a study reported the discovery of the “hiding place” of 10 percent of DNA thought to be missing from the map of the human genome. Researchers used the genomes of Latina/o and other admixed populations to interpolate the locations of these twenty million missing base pairs. "Latino populations,” says a co-author of the study, “have a relatively distinctive gift to give.” They would presumably contribute to a genome mapping project whose scientific goals underscore advantages like disease eradication and new approaches to data analysis. Histories of colonialism and neoliberal policies imposed on this particular demographic, however, raise larger questions about the ultimate application of the findings. This chapter conjures up figures from history, science, mythology, literature, and music to highlight the potentials released by the discovery of this genetic New World “gold.”

Keywords:   colonialism, DNA, gold, Latina/o, literature, music, New World, science

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