Large-scale genomic study covering 210,000 people from across the United States and Britain has shown that humans are still evolving as harmful genetic mutations associated with Alzheimer’s disease and heavy smoking have become less prevalent in people with longer lifespan.

The study also finds that genetic mutations that predispose people to early puberty and childbearing, heart disease, high cholesterol, obesity, and asthma, also appear less often in people who lived longer, suggesting that natural selection is weeding out such harmful variants in order to save our species.

“It’s a subtle signal, but we find genetic evidence that natural selection is happening in modern human populations,” says the study co-author Joseph Pickrell, an evolutionary geneticist at Columbia and New York Genome Center, in a news release.

The study, entitled “Identifying genetic variants that affect viability in large cohorts” has been published in PLOS Biology.

Source: Columbia University

 

One thought on “Genetic Study Of 210,000 People Shows Humans Are Still Evolving

  1. I would offer the opposite conclusion that natural selection is at its very least influence in the evolution of human species. Natural selection has evaporated as a biological influence for humans but remains in the animal kingdom to survive global warming. What is natural about controlling the environment so that it serves man so man needs no adjustment ? What is natural about all the disease fighting medicines that improve health and extend life ? Man controls his own destiny and is no longer dependent to evolve to survive environment. Darwinism theory has long been abandoned because modern evolutionists don’t see mutations as cause of change but adaptation through genes as the evolutionary dynamic. “Harmful variants” are not being weeded out as article suggests. They are being cured and managed. The radiation and chemo that has made me a cancer survivor does not change cancer susceptibility or resistance to cancer for future generation of mine. This seems an unscientific conclusion because the effects of natural selection do not manifest in a short time over only a few generations but gene adjustment to conditions can over several generations.

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