HUMAN EVOLUTION

Old and new immune genetic variation

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Science  18 Sep 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6254, pp. 1297-1298
DOI: 10.1126/science.349.6254.1297-d

The Khloe-San peoples of Africa are one of the most ancient lineages of humans and thus can be examined to identify both ancient and recent human-specific genetic variation. Investigating the alleles of the killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors and their human leukocyte antigen class I ligands, which are involved in the immune response, Hilton et al. found evidence of both old and new genetic variants. Because these genes can affect pregnancy, the identification of one recently evolved variant at relatively high frequencies suggests that it may have conferred a selective advantage.

PLOS Genet. 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005439 (2015).

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