Iceland is an isolated country, settled 1,200 years ago with little migration by other peoples since then. For years, researchers have a studied the genetic makeup of Icelanders--and to a lesser extent the Mormon population in Utah--because of the presence of “genetic homogeneity,” or minimal variation in the gene pool.

This lack of variation helps determine why a certain group or groups of people may be more susceptible to particular diseases than others. The degree of genetic homogeneity in Iceland has been questioned in recent years, and its small population of about 320,000 also has been a limiting factor.

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