Human beings are still physically evolving, says study

BY PAUL PATE | PUBLISHED: 09-11-2017

Genes for Alzheimer's, asthma, and many other ailments are actually becoming rarer in humans over time, and the human genome as a whole is continuing to evolve under the guiding force of natural selection.

Genes for Alzheimer's, asthma, and many other ailments are actually becoming rarer in humans over time, and the human genome as a whole is continuing to evolve under the guiding force of natural selection. These are the conclusions of a study of DNA of more than 210,000 people from the United States and Great Britain, the results of which were published recently in PLoS Biology.
The researchers tracked 8 million mutations among them and observed the frequency with which each mutation appeared in other humans' genomes. Mutations responsible for Alzheimer's disease and heavy smoking were both less frequent in older peoplei.e., people with longer life spans. Longer-living people were also less likely to have genetic mutations for heart disease, cholesterol, asthma, or obesity.
Since these humans live longer, they would presumably be able to pass on their non-mutated genomes through their children, the researchers inferred. The researchers described this process as the same natural selection that has been changing the human form since our prehistoric evolution from primates.
"It's a subtle signal, but we find genetic evidence that natural selection is happening in modern human populations," Joseph Pickrel, an evolutionary geneticist at Columbia University and the New York Genome Center, said in a news release.
The researchers noted other genetic mutations that they said were less obviously harmful, depending on the environment. For example, genetic variants causing greater or lesser fertility changed over time. They attributed these fluctuations to environmental influence: Greater fertility may be more beneficial in one time period but less so in another

 

 

Comments
Laurel Kornfeld - Sep 19, 2017
Genes for Alzheimer’s, asthma, and many other ailments are actually becoming rarer in humans over time, and the human genome as a whole is continuing to evolve under the guiding force of natural selection.
Laurel Kornfeld - Sep 19, 2017
Genes for Alzheimer’s, asthma, and many other ailments are actually becoming rarer in humans over time, and the human genome as a whole is continuing to evolve under the guiding force of natural selection.
Wilson Soto - Sep 19, 2017
Genes for Alzheimer’s, asthma, and many other ailments are actually becoming rarer in humans over time, and the human genome as a whole is continuing to evolve under the guiding force of natural selection.
Dan Taylor - Sep 19, 2017
Genes for Alzheimer’s, asthma, and many other ailments are actually becoming rarer in humans over time, and the human genome as a whole is continuing to evolve under the guiding force of natural selection.
Laurel Kornfeld - Sep 18, 2017
Genes for Alzheimer’s, asthma, and many other ailments are actually becoming rarer in humans over time, and the human genome as a whole is continuing to evolve under the guiding force of natural selection.
Joseph Scalise - Sep 18, 2017
Genes for Alzheimer’s, asthma, and many other ailments are actually becoming rarer in humans over time, and the human genome as a whole is continuing to evolve under the guiding force of natural selection.
Joyce Clark - Sep 16, 2017
Genes for Alzheimer’s, asthma, and many other ailments are actually becoming rarer in humans over time, and the human genome as a whole is continuing to evolve under the guiding force of natural selection.