Human Genetics

Cultural imprints on the human genome

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Science  26 Jun 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6242, pp. 1441
DOI: 10.1126/science.348.6242.1441-a

Animal domestication altered the human diet and may have done the same to our genome

PHOTO: BORSEV/ISTOCKPHOTO

As modern humans and society evolved, animal husbandry and farming changed the way humans eat. Valente et al. investigated how differences in diet may have played a role in human evolution. Examining the genetics of African populations with different modes of subsistence, as compared to Europeans, the authors identify selection on gene variants postulated to be adaptive for different diets. However, the degree to which these signals are associated with diet, rather than other environmental factors and evolutionary forces, requires further study. This highlights the difficultly of identifying how human culture has affected our genome.

BMC Genet. 10.1186/s12863-015-0212-1 (2015).

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