Inbreeding's Kiss of Death

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Science  03 Apr 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5360, pp. 35
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5360.35b

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Inbreeding can cripple a gene pool by allowing recessive genes to emerge from hiding, but it has been generally accepted that it doesn't lead to extinction because natural events would swamp out any genetic effects. But a report in this week's issue of Nature has shown a strong correlation between a population's genetic diversity and whether it went extinct; this link held up after ecological factors that also influence extinction were taken into account.