Sunday, March 10, 2013

Icelanders have database to prevent inbreeding

An article from Time has published states that Iceland has an online database that determines the relationship between people in Iceland.  Iceland is an isolated nation that has a population roughly the size of Pittsburgh.  The chances of a person dating someone that is related to them is actually a possibility.  Icelanders has found a way to prevent such accidents from occurring.  They have created an online database called Íslendingabók (the Book of Icelanders) that allows users to input their own name alongside that of a prospective mate, determining any relation.  Any legal Icelandic citizen has an Icelandic ID number is accounted for in this database and the site claims to track 1,200 years of genealogical information.  The site can also determine any close relations with famous Icelanders.  This project resulted from a collaboration between a genetics research company and a software entrepreneur.  More information can be found here.

1 comment:

  1. This is an interesting advancement in avoiding inbreeding. Although it is very practical in such a small, isolated area, it seems strange to have to research everyone you are interested in dating. Usually inbreeding is stigmatized as occurring in ignorant people, who do not know any better. In this case, the people of Iceland want to avoid dating their relatives, but they are not sure who they could be related to. I am curious to know if any people in Iceland object to having their family histories as public knowledge, or if they all see the benefit of avoiding inbreeding.