Life on Earth’s roof: Ancient interspecies mating with Denisovans helps Tibetans thrive at high altitudes

| | March 7, 2017
Screen Shot at AM
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

[A]fter looking more closely at the EPAS1 gene from the Tibetan genomes, [Rasmus Nielsen from University of California in Berkeley] not only found it was a steep change, but it was a unique one too.

It was as if Tibetans had inherited the gene from another species. And, in fact, that’s exactly what had happened. [P]opulations from Papua New Guinea, Australia, and a few regions of southeast Asia had inherited between 1-6% of their genomes
rom Denisovans.

clinicabellezzaNeandertalok xBetween 50,000 and 30,000 years ago, some Denisovans and the ancient ancestors of Tibetan and Han Chinese people had sex, merged their genomes, shuffled the genes like a deck of cards, and produced children who would grow up to have offspring of their own.

Over the next tens of thousands of years, this gene seems to have conferred little benefit to Han Chinese people and is only found in roughly 1% of the population today. But for all those intrepid groups that moved up onto the Tibetan Plateau…it helped make every breath easier, every heartbeat less dangerous. On the Tibetan Plateau, 78% of the population has this version of EPAS1, a gene that separates them from those far below, but connects them to the past.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: How Tibetans survive life on the ‘roof of the world’

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
a a b b a f ac a

Video: Death by COVID: The projected grim toll in historical context

The latest statistics, as of July 10, show COVID-19-related deaths in U.S. are just under 1,000 per day nationally, which is ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
types of oak trees

Infographic: Power of evolution? How oak trees came to dominate North American forests

Over the course of some 56 million years, oaks, which all belong to the genus Quercus, evolved from a single undifferentiated ...
biotechnology worker x

Can GMOs rescue threatened plants and crops?

Some scientists and ecologists argue that humans are in the midst of an "extinction crisis" — the sixth wave of ...
food globe x

Are GMOs necessary to feed the world?

Experts estimate that agricultural production needs to roughly double in the coming decades. How can that be achieved? ...
eating gmo corn on the cob x

Are GMOs safe?

In 2015, 15 scientists and activists issued a statement, "No Scientific consensus on GMO safety," in the journal Environmental Sciences ...
Screen Shot at PM

Charles Benbrook: Agricultural economist and consultant for the organic industry and anti-biotechnology advocacy groups

Independent scientists rip Benbrook's co-authored commentary in New England Journal calling for reassessment of dangers of all GMO crops and herbicides ...
Screen Shot at PM

ETC Group: ‘Extreme’ biotechnology critic campaigns against synthetic biology and other forms of ‘extreme genetic engineering’

The ETC Group is an international environmental non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Canada whose stated purpose is to monitor "the impact of emerging technologies and ...
Share via
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend