Founding An Inbreeding-Free Space Colony

  • Published on Nov 12, 2017
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    How much genetic diversity would we need to found a colony on another planet?
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Comments • 1 316

  • Raul Vaquer
    Raul Vaquer 6 days ago

    23andme dont work in Europe btw

  • Wemdiculous
    Wemdiculous 8 days ago

    lowest cost option for martian colonization, send only sperm and females, preferably babies and dwarves. and develope good enough ai so they dont die

  • Jay G
    Jay G 11 days ago

    Hypothesis- Why not send 100-ish young couples, wait 50 or so years, send another wave of 200 people, wait 50 or so years, then maybe send a larger wave of 500 people. Over time, space travel will be more streamlined and efficient, ergo inexpensive, and perhaps the Mars colony will start finding/making things of value there that can contribute to the overall goal of colonizing mars. Eventually you'd have a large enough size on Mars that it'd work out just fine. Say, within 500 years, you maybe be able to send groups of 1000+ humans every 20-50 years, and that's not accounting for when recreational travel between earth and the colony become possible, and interbreeding between the two planets happens. (Sidenote- Planet to planet child support would be one hell of an issue!)

  • Ken Oakleaf
    Ken Oakleaf 11 days ago

    Given current technology, I think it is already kind of silly to worry about this. As mentioned in the video, it wouldn't be hard to send extra genetic material.

  • richard reeves
    richard reeves 12 days ago

    didn't bring up a very big problem in these scenarios ... cheating on your spouse. there have been studies that show that about10% of children are told the wrong guy is their dad. a 10% shift to unknown parentage would be cataclysmic in such a small population.

  • Bear2die4
    Bear2die4 12 days ago +1

    Damn, people are bad enough as it is. Some can't handle humans from another country, let alone another planet. Yeah, we're gonna end up with some serious problems....

  • Seán O'Nilbud
    Seán O'Nilbud 13 days ago

    Now that's something they can test in Tuskegee.

  • BUH lucky
    BUH lucky 13 days ago


  • Sölvi P.
    Sölvi P. 15 days ago

    Greetings from Iceland, and, you're welcome 🙏

  • Tijo Jose
    Tijo Jose 16 days ago +1

    23andMe seems completely useless for non-white people.

  • johnlockedtbh
    johnlockedtbh 20 days ago

    I thought the title said we found one 😂😂

  • Siam Sattar
    Siam Sattar 20 days ago

    That means no chinese in space

  • MsTake012
    MsTake012 22 days ago

    Ummm, 23andme? I pay to have my DNA stored in a database and to be later exploited by insurance companies 🤔🤔🤔 no thank you

  • Santos Gomez
    Santos Gomez 22 days ago

    It's why we have to have a large genetic pool. In the world. We need each other for keeping up. Generations

  • coc0s
    coc0s 23 days ago

    In case it doesn't work pack a good supply of banjos.

  • George Brown
    George Brown 23 days ago

    I would think that they would have relationships but have a complex web showing who will “mate” with who so you can love one person but have to breed with someone else.

  • MrAsap2000as
    MrAsap2000as 26 days ago

    What are you talking about? Southeast Asians and Chinese are EXTREMELY related.

  • ninjajustin2000
    ninjajustin2000 26 days ago +1

    23 and me is a insurance trick so that the companies can jack up rates based on your genetics.

  • Heckle and Jeckle
    Heckle and Jeckle 29 days ago

    why don't salmon have a problem with inbreeding

  • Boxes Satans
    Boxes Satans Month ago

    The guy's nose is pointing the other way of his face...

  • Hip Hop Beats - Rap Instrumentals CursedSound

    Lets have sex... for science

  • Joshua Slowpoke
    Joshua Slowpoke Month ago

    I’ve heard estimates as high as 500,000 being required to maintain genetic diversity. But if only several tens of thousands are required, is it possible such a colony could survive starting with 200,000?

  • jay pee
    jay pee Month ago +1

    That was really interesting. Also, I haven't watched scishow in a while... really like this new guy and his mature handing of the subject.

  • Jenny Simon
    Jenny Simon Month ago

    Can u tell that to Islam? It's 'god's way' to marry your first cousin. Causes violent irrational rage and mental retardation in just one generation. It also piles up. The UK has such a problem they launched a public health awareness campaign to pretty much fail. Maybe so many ppl would stop trying to blow themselves and other ppl up. This is a major problem and it's all our problem as it's Earth's gene pool.

  • Алексей Алексеев

    Всех "халявщиков", зеков, богачей, правителей и Собчак отправляйте на Марс, пусть плодятся там!

  • Jaylafae Klinger
    Jaylafae Klinger Month ago

    23 and me should pay YOU for your genetic information since they will sell it over and over and over for researchers, the government, or whoever has enough money to get what they want. Selling your genetic information is a bad idea unless you have sound proof that they will destroy what you gave them and all the data alone with it.

  • photondance
    photondance Month ago

    OH NO! I was supposed to sPit in that vial? I guess I read that wrong. 😬

  • Miles Huff
    Miles Huff Month ago

    Easy: send them up with a big bag of mixed sperm.

  • kirby march Barcena

    They should be more worried of infertility than inbreeding.

  • Gert Brink Nielsen
    Gert Brink Nielsen Month ago

    Yay it's Stefan! :D

  • Gustavo
    Gustavo Month ago


  • Mateo Andres López Barrientos

    I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we get there?......let’s get to mars first

  • hoosierhiver
    hoosierhiver Month ago

    That explains why trailer park people have that look.

  • Marcus Taber
    Marcus Taber Month ago

    Iceland is in europe like greenland is too right?

  • avicohen2k
    avicohen2k Month ago

    Thinking about old world problems for new world situations. By the time we start an off world colony we could probably modify genetic babies and fix issues caused by inbreeding. Heck we might not even reproduce the classic way.. by the time we start that colony inbreeding shouldn't be a major issue.

  • Jørgen Lervik
    Jørgen Lervik Month ago

    Genetic engineering. Haven't watched the video yet, but biotechnology. Just change the genes.

  • Shawn Wesley
    Shawn Wesley Month ago

    I think you could get away with a relatively small group, you'd just need to send another group within a generation. Even if it takes longer than that to reach the destination, you could have two or three voyagers occurring one after the other, offset by 15 to 20 years, each time improving the genetic diversity while also cutting the cost of each individual journey and spreading that cost out over decades. This would have the added benefit of also delivering extra supplies with each group.
    On the downside, if the overall journey is greater than a generation or two, then the follow-up groups would have no idea what to really expect and whether or not those sent before them had survived to build a colony to arrive at.

  • beth98362 R
    beth98362 R Month ago

    An embryo transfer would solve that problem!

  • Kevin Gomolchak
    Kevin Gomolchak Month ago

    Make sure nobody decides to answer any distress calls, and then send a landing party full of idiots.

  • Click Bateman
    Click Bateman Month ago

    Can't you just have low genetic diversity with inbreeding if you did in-vitro fertilization? Just inbreeding out traits? I know that is gross, but if people had the facilities and removed the social stigma it could work. Granted you would probably have to destroy a whole lot of technically viable embryos to allow for genetic drift. Sounds better than extinction, I suppose.

  • GeraldoSepulveda
    GeraldoSepulveda Month ago

    Show about in breeding..... sponsored by a chromosome company jajajajaj

  • Maharshi K Desai
    Maharshi K Desai Month ago

    But.......Incest is wincest

  • Gaysian_american
    Gaysian_american Month ago

    Just send a bunch of diverse ethnically mixed women with a few pounds of sperm gathered from hundreds of remote tribes.

  • Lucho-Core
    Lucho-Core Month ago

    I'm gonna say it without checking the rest of the video, then see if my idea was there:
    Cryogenic-stored sperm/egg bank! it would get periodical "refills" from earth. heheh :D
    EDIT: YAAAAAY! I'm smart! :V

  • Lucho-Core
    Lucho-Core Month ago

    First I read the title as "inbreeding free-space colony"

  • ObstTube
    ObstTube Month ago

    Oops, page not found!

  • rngwrldngnr
    rngwrldngnr Month ago

    Every time I see this video in my feed I have to remind myself that it isn't an Isaac Arthur video.

  • Stanley Chang
    Stanley Chang Month ago

    This isn't real problem tbh. We'll probably perfect human genetic engineering before being able to self-sustaining space colony.

  • Bad End Happy
    Bad End Happy Month ago

    Can't you just genetically engineer all the genetic flaws/disease-causing alleles out of the population BEFORE your send them there?

  • Darren Paris
    Darren Paris 2 months ago

    Could the Icelandic genealogical database be contributing to their remarkable health as compared to similar countries?

  • Fred K
    Fred K 2 months ago

    Send only women and a sperm bank, problem solved.

  • Glenn Bellomo
    Glenn Bellomo 2 months ago

    Send only women and gallons of frozen sperm.

  • skully70
    skully70 2 months ago

    You don't mention any info regarding monogamous vs polyamorous relationships.
    In Star trek: TNG bring up an episode regarding this topic and the in episode result said that each female required to have 3 kids from 3 different fathers in order to avoid inbreeding.
    At the very least, you should discuss how this affects the minimum numbers
    *This is officially the nerdiest Facebook message I've ever posted.

  • Flat FlatSpin
    Flat FlatSpin 2 months ago

    I thought the number was 500 people, when none are related to start with.

  • J M
    J M 2 months ago

    Adam and Eve didnt breed cripples. Suck on that science!

  • TR gaming
    TR gaming 2 months ago

    That genetic testing only says where you could be from based on genetic markers that they think are more common in certain areas so it's not very accurate

  • franklin radcliff
    franklin radcliff 2 months ago

    I'd consider using 23andme's service if they didn't share that genetic info with police and intelligence communities.

  • Life Happens
    Life Happens 2 months ago

    Nice video about a fascinating subject! I have a terminology quibble.
    "Effective population size" doesn't at all mean what you say. The concept you're going for - a lower bound on the population size needed to avoid inbreeding depression - might be better described as "minimum viable population".
    Effective population size is a property of a population (any population, whether it's viable or not). It's a rather abstract way of measuring population size, taking into account (among other things) the number of reproductively mature individuals and the sex ratio. The point of effective population size is that it better captures how a population behaves genetically than simply counting the number of individuals (which is called the "census population size").
    Effective population size is always at least somewhat smaller than census population size. So the way you'd use it in the context of space colonization would be, for example: "we have 1000 people on Mars right now, but many of them are children, so our effective population size is closer to 400".
    It'd be great if you could add a correction note to the video, this is a very central population genetic concept that a lot of people have trouble with! :)

  • Nusheen Tarannum Sara
    Nusheen Tarannum Sara 2 months ago


  • ceojr1963
    ceojr1963 2 months ago

    Laughs, but we all know we only came from two individuals................. but if they were prefect humans what is to say that is not correct, we now do not know what prefect is..... we are now just breaking at 100 years old, not at 1,000 years old... food for thought.

  • ceojr1963
    ceojr1963 2 months ago

    And then you get indiana amish with longer lifespans, and less diabetes.....we think we know a lot then find out we don't..

  • Hieu Nguyen
    Hieu Nguyen 2 months ago

    Answer is sperm bank. Free freezing in space too

  • john smith
    john smith 2 months ago

    why not just clean the populations DNA with CRISPR.

  • John Doe
    John Doe 2 months ago

    23 and me the one that costs 3 x more than ancestry for the exact same thing

  • No You're A Banana
    No You're A Banana 2 months ago

    The problem with NASA getting a colony first is all the genes will originate from Ohio

  • Aaron McLaughlin
    Aaron McLaughlin 2 months ago

    I wonder if that's how or why the tradition of arranged marriages started?

  • Lee_trn
    Lee_trn 2 months ago

    Ya I definitely read the title as Founding an inbreeding, free space, colony.

  • talus talus
    talus talus 2 months ago +1

    and then we will eventually have WAR - earth VS mars hahaha! for sure! human nature...

  • Elise Putnam
    Elise Putnam 2 months ago

    I don't know why but I appreciate this video so much

  • Ali Najdi
    Ali Najdi 2 months ago

    I am ashamed of you for advertising 23andme, they are not who they say they are, and scishow is smart enough to know that

  • Justin Noker
    Justin Noker 2 months ago

    but... incest is wincest ;-;

  • On the Wall
    On the Wall 2 months ago

    That 4 eyed guy looks inbred

  • Jeromiah Statzer
    Jeromiah Statzer 2 months ago

    I'll make a conjugal visit any day thank you very much

  • nul00000000
    nul00000000 2 months ago

    WAAAIIIT ONE SECOND LITTLE BOY. It has to do with reproducing on Mars. Would just the bacteria we bring and it's future generations be enough to provide a microbiome for the next generation? Or am I being dumb and our microbiome is all there from the time we are born? I don't know I just wanted to point it out.

  • Ricardo Hernández
    Ricardo Hernández 2 months ago

    What about finding an inbreeding-free town in the sout-southeast of america?

  • Luke Jared Evanshen
    Luke Jared Evanshen 2 months ago

    this is not really an issue.. we can just engineer offspring...

  • Mrdresden
    Mrdresden 2 months ago

    Icelander here, and an ex-employee of DeCode who runs that database (as a side gimmick to the genetic research that the company has been doing since '96).

  • Sophie Robinson
    Sophie Robinson 2 months ago

    8 greats grandpa David ap Rhys from Wales

  • MuppetsSh0w
    MuppetsSh0w 2 months ago

    It's strange that while talking about Mars colony no one brings a problem that human body can't grow properly in envoirement with diffrent gravity than earths.

  • orochirel
    orochirel 2 months ago

    What about gravity and the bone and muscle strength of the offsprings of the colony people...

    But more importantly... What about the droid attack on the wookies?

  • orochirel
    orochirel 2 months ago

    What about gravity and the bone and muscle strength of the offsprings of the colony people...

    But more importantly... What about the droid attack on the wookies?

  • Duchesse de Berne
    Duchesse de Berne 2 months ago

    Just take some sperm to Mars

  • Osiris Malkovich
    Osiris Malkovich 2 months ago

    Radical idea: send only women and a huge diversity of sperm samples. They can grow their own men there and each woman can have several children from different fathers.

  • kada0601
    kada0601 2 months ago

    Easy, just genetically modify the embryos of space couples.

  • Sean McGrew
    Sean McGrew 2 months ago

    QUESTION; is it worth getting a flu shot?
    I was wondering how it works. I was recently told that if you get a shot, it may not even cover the strain that comes this year....?
    If I had no shot and ended up contracting "the flu" would my body build up a natural immunity to that strain and I would be less susceptible to it if that particular strain ever came back around? If so it would seem unwise to get a shot because your body would never build a resistance..?
    I understand as well that when people say "the flu" or inFLUenza virus, this possibly refers to Two different effects.(sinus and fever versus vomiting)
    So what is really in a "flu" shot, (hopefully not Ice Tea or mind controlling agents), and is it worth it!?
    Paranoid suspicions
    Post Script: I really hate needles!

  • NewFossil
    NewFossil 2 months ago

    You're assuming that lower gravity will not negatively affect pregnancy. Biologically our bodies are programmed to work with earth gravity. In other words this whole video was just created to lead into your sponsor and that didn't give us anything "sciencey".

  • Trance Kowhai
    Trance Kowhai 2 months ago

    arranged marriage is your answer, dont need those thousands, just need that 200

  • suteners2111
    suteners2111 2 months ago

    they will all die from weaker gravity and killing each other and radiation.

  • Gabrielle Rouleau
    Gabrielle Rouleau 2 months ago

    23 and Me or Ancestry DNA tests don't tell you where your ancestors come from. They just compare your DNA to the DNA of other people in their databases. That isn't the same thing. As a science channel you should really know the difference and explain it to your viewers. You could take the tests of different companies and obtain different results because they have different databases.

  • CivilCIA
    CivilCIA 2 months ago

    hmmmm 0 g sex....sound fun!

  • Mr Slinky dragon
    Mr Slinky dragon 2 months ago

    if each country sent 50 of the original/most popular race (russia sends ethnic russians, uk sends ethnic causcasian english and south afric send ethnic zulu for example) then there would be a wide mix of genes right off the bat! then if theres are many more eggs and sperm preserved then there shouldnt be excusses for going lannister on your sister!

  • Kyra Zimmer
    Kyra Zimmer 2 months ago

    always funny to hear the introduction "SciShow is supported by the thing that takes science and a shitload of money to turn it into racist snake oil" -_-

  • ZorroDood
    ZorroDood 2 months ago

    Did he just casually mention the origin story of dwarves?

  • Adam Kelly
    Adam Kelly 2 months ago

    Lol, please upload my generic sequence to the same servers that Equifax uses so the identity thieves don't have to hack multiple systems.

  • eerereps
    eerereps 2 months ago +1

    very informative, Thanks!

  • oda d
    oda d 2 months ago

    Or you can send one person and a lot of cats

  • Travis Collier
    Travis Collier 2 months ago

    Or we could engineer in some extra heterozygosity, like some folks are currently working on for some critically endangered non-human species here on Earth.

  • S. Smith
    S. Smith 2 months ago

    Two words for diversity: Radiation Dosing.

  • James McTrollington
    James McTrollington 2 months ago

    I have no idea how genetics work, but would sending a very racially diverse group of people help?

  • J Seigle
    J Seigle 2 months ago

    How about NO