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Cooking, farming and other ways our culture can change our genes

| | April 15, 2014

The GLP posts this article or excerpt as part of a daily curated selection of biotechnology-related news, opinion and analysis.

The way our ancestors ate, cooked, explored, and interacted with others has had a profound influence on our genetic inheritance. So how will modern culture shape the genetic legacies we leave to our descendents?

You shouldn’t be able to drink milk. Your ancestors couldn’t. It is only in the last 9,000 years that human adults have gained that ability without becoming ill. Children could manage it, but it was only when we turned to dairy farming that adults acquired the ability to properly digest milk.

It turns out that cultures with a history of dairy farming and milk drinking have a much higher frequency of lactose tolerance – and its associated gene – than those who don’t.

Read the full, original story: How Does Human Culture Influence Our Genetics?

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