A Danish ancient genetics expert says Aboriginal people should open up to scientific researchers looking for better diabetes treatments.
By
Kerri Worthington

Source:
World News Radio
3 Jan 2014 - 5:36 PM  UPDATED 4 Jan 2014 - 5:54 PM

Aboriginal communities are being urged to open up to scientific researchers looking for better diabetes treatments.

A visiting Danish ancient genetics expert says there's likely to be more to the elevated risk of Australian Aboriginal people developing Type-2 diabetes than just diet.

Dr Eske Willerslev of Copenhagen University is speaking to Kerri Worthington.

(Click on audio tab above to listen to this item)

"If we want to understand more about diabetes we have to go to populations where they have a very high risk of getting it, but where the evolutionary history is very distinct and Aboriginal Australians fit perfectly in that pattern," Dr Eske Willerslev says.

"First of all they have these extremely high rates of Type 2 diabetes. I think it is three times higher than white Australian fellows, and at the same time they are geneti-ally, they have a very different evolutionary history from Asians and Europeans.

"And that makes them extremly important in studying the underlying genetic causes of diabetes because everybody has been focussing on Europeans and East Asians, probably because that's where the markets are."

Listen to the interview on Soundcloud below: