Medicine: Inbreeding & Dwarfism

For geneticists the fascinating fact about the Old Order Amish, one of the sects of the Pennsylvania Dutch country's "Plain People," is that they all are descended from about 200 immigrants of 200 years ago. A few Amish leave the ancestral acres and simple (no motors, no worldly entertainments) way of life, but virtually no new blood has been introduced to create genetic confusion. For such a group, to survive is to inbreed, and the Amish have more than survived; they now number 44,000. In 1963, to take advantage of this unique opportunity into...

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