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Nature:人类将继续进化 更高更聪明

来源:生物谷 2015-07-03 14:25

2015年7月3日 讯 /生物谷BIOON/ --近日,一项发表于国际杂志Nature上的研究论文中,来自爱丁堡大学的研究人员通过研究表示,目前人类已经进化的比其祖先更加高更加聪明了;相比其他个体而言,那些父母具有多样遗传背景的个体身高易于变得更高,而且思维技能也会变得更加敏捷。

文章中,研究者对世界范围内进行的100多项研究进行分析汇总,他们分析了这些研究报告中参与对象的健康和遗传信息,其中就包括对来自乡村和城市社区超过35万名个体的详细信息进行分析。结果发现,较高的遗传多样性和个体身高增加直接相关,同时还和个体较好的认知技能以及较高的教育水平相关联。

然而遗传多样性对某些因子并没有影响,比如高血压或胆固醇水平,这些因子会影响个体患心脏疾病、糖尿病及其它机体障碍。研究者对研究对象机体的整个遗传组成进行了检测,他们重点关注了那些分别遗传父母相同基因拷贝个体机体所发生的遗传事件,这些事件是一种和其祖先相关联的指示器,当个体基因中发生的事件较少,这就表明该个体在遗传过程中的遗传多样性较高,同时也可以说明该个体父母双方的家庭不太可能是远亲。

通常人们都认为近亲相互结合容易增加后代个体患多种复杂疾病的风险,但研究者却发现实际上并不是这样的,研究者所发现的受遗传多样性影响的因素就是个体的身高和快速思维的能力。随着时间进行,进化往往更有利于那些身高增加且思维敏捷的个体,但这却并不影响个体患多种疾病的可能性。

研究者Jim Wilson表示,本文研究强调了大规模遗传性分析的重要性,因为这种分析可以解释人类进化历史中的一些基本事件和信息;我们的研究回答了达尔文关于遗传多样性对机体有益的问题,而且下一步我们将通过对基因组中特定部分进行深入剖析来阐明遗传多样性对机体的益处。(生物谷Bioon.com)

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Directional dominance on stature and cognition in diverse human populations.

Peter K. Joshi, Tonu Esko, Hannele Mattsson, Niina Eklund, Ilaria Gandin, Teresa Nutile, Anne U. Jackson, Claudia Schurmann, Albert V. Smith, Weihua Zhang, Yukinori Okada, Alena Stančáková, Jessica D. Faul, Wei Zhao, Traci M. Bartz, Maria Pina Concas, Nora Franceschini, Stefan Enroth, Veronique Vitart, Stella Trompet, Xiuqing Guo, Daniel I. Chasman, Jeffrey R. O'Connel, Tanguy Corre, Suraj S. Nongmaithem et al.

Homozygosity has long been associated with rare, often devastating, Mendelian disorders1, and Darwin was one of the first to recognize that inbreeding reduces evolutionary fitness2. However, the effect of the more distant parental relatedness that is common in modern human populations is less well understood. Genomic data now allow us to investigate the effects of homozygosity on traits of public health importance by observing contiguous homozygous segments (runs of homozygosity), which are inferred to be homozygous along their complete length. Given the low levels of genome-wide homozygosity prevalent in most human populations, information is required on very large numbers of people to provide sufficient power3, 4. Here we use runs of homozygosity to study 16 health-related quantitative traits in 354,224 individuals from 102 cohorts, and find statistically significant associations between summed runs of homozygosity and four complex traits: height, forced expiratory lung volume in one second, general cognitive ability and educational attainment (P < 1 × 10−300, 2.1 × 10−6, 2.5 × 10−10 and 1.8 × 10−10, respectively). In each case, increased homozygosity was associated with decreased trait value, equivalent to the offspring of first cousins being 1.2 cm shorter and having 10 months’ less education. Similar effect sizes were found across four continental groups and populations with different degrees of genome-wide homozygosity, providing evidence that homozygosity, rather than confounding, directly contributes to phenotypic variance. Contrary to earlier reports in substantially smaller samples5, 6, no evidence was seen of an influence of genome-wide homozygosity on blood pressure and low density lipoprotein cholesterol, or ten other cardio-metabolic traits. Since directional dominance is predicted for traits under directional evolutionary selection7, this study provides evidence that increased stature and cognitive function have been positively selected in human evolution, whereas many important risk factors for late-onset complex diseases may not have been.

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