Evolution: it’s not over

Researchers have performed a study involving 209 individuals from all over the world, seeking to identify genetic differences that would show the changes that occurred in the past 10,000 years: “the advent of agriculture, shifts in diet, new habitats, climatic conditions”, for instance. The study was published online March 7 in the research journal Public Library of Science – Biology.

According to the theory, the most favored genes should spread so rapidly through a population that there’s little time for a gene shuffling that occurs each generation, called recombination, to change nearby genes. This produces a characteristic homogeneity among the chromosomes carrying that gene variant. Pritchard and colleagues scanned the data for genomic regions fitting this pattern.

Scientist found two “new” genes, the salt-sensitive hypertension gene, and the lactase gene, that were spread throughout the European test subjects.

The genes found to have the strongest evidence of “positive selection”—that is, of being evolutionarily favored—included genes related to smell, reproduction-related processes and carbohydrate metabolism[…]

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