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 thereâ€™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 â€œpositive selectionâ€â€”that is, of being evolutionarily favoredâ€”included genes related to smell, reproduction-related processes and carbohydrate metabolism[…]