ALFRED: Ethics
      The ALlele FREquency Database   
ALFRED is a resource of gene frequency data on human populations
supported by the U. S. National Science Foundation.


Ethics Statement

The ALelle FREquency Database (ALFRED) is designed to store and make available allele frequencies of normal, common autosomal DNA polymorphisms in multiple, well defined population samples. The allele frequency data contained in ALFRED are provided primarily for researchers in the fields of human population genetics and molecular anthropology.

As genetic polymorphisms, the common alleles at the loci catalogued in ALFRED must be considered normal variation. It is a demonstrable fact that almost every human population differs from every other population in allele frequencies at one or more loci, but that the largest fraction by far of genetic diversity occurs among members of the same population. Individuals coming from different continents are, on average, only slightly more different genetically than members of the same community. The observation that many alleles are common in most populations and continents is one of the strongest pieces of evidence supporting the now uncontroversial notion that all current humans are descended from a set of common ancestors who lived in Africa in the relatively recent past. Only a small additional proportion of the global variation occurs as gene frequency differences among populations. Those differences, however, can illuminate evolutionary histories of human populations and may be especially relevant to the design and conduct of biomedical research

We are cognizant that historically, biological and genetic data have been misused to stigmatize or rationalize discrimination against specific, identifiable ethnic groups, or individuals. Use of the allele frequency data in ALFRED for such purposes would not be ethically or scientifically justified. The data contained in ALFRED represent normal genetic variants common to the majority of populations in the world.

ALFRED is intended to enhance basic scientific research and education and is a resource available for public use. It is important however, to be aware that analytical results from ALFRED frequencies will reflect the worldview and science-based perspective of the analysts and they must be sensitive to the possibility that the donating populations may view the world differently.

By entering ALFRED you agree that you will not use the data to stigmatize or justify discrimination against any ethnic group or individual.


© 2016 Kenneth K Kidd, Yale University. All rights reserved. The full Copyright Notification is also available.
Originally prototyped by Michael Osier with the aid of Kei Cheung
Upgrades and maintenance since 2002 by Haseena Rajeevan