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Abstract

Scientific research provides substantial evidence that there is no genetic or biological basis for our social understanding of race. The confounding social and biological uses of race complicate its use in scientific and biolomedical research; thereby, prompting this discussion of how research informs the concept of race. Recommendations for the use of race in scientific study are provided. Scientists must critically consider when and how to use race in their research so that data are not compromised. Parsing of social, environmental, and biological contributors to health status will contribute to scientific advancement and improved medical care. Clear, consistent, and medically-relevant use of racial concepts in research promotes scientific responsibility, biomedical justice, and an improved social understanding of race. In addition, it is critical to correcting economic, health and other social disparities.

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