How culture shapes the evolution of our genes

genetic fulll
Image: National Institutes of Health

The well worked out examples of the impact of human culture in re-shaping our own evolution are riveting, I think.

The ability of adults to digest lactose, in fact, confers evolutionary advantages only when a stable supply of milk is available. And this would not have been the case until after milk-producing animals (sheep, cattle, goats, camels) had been domesticated and a host of related cultural features, such as knowledge about how to care for such animals and collect their milk, had arisen. … Amazingly, just over the last 3,000-9,000 years, several adaptive mutations have occurred in the LCT gene … conferring this ability.

The forms of living arrangements that we have invented in the last 5-7,000 years – involving cities and markets and modern telecommunications – are surely also a force in our natural selection. … For instance, as a species, we may be getting smarter because we live in cities, and because urban culture is getting ever more complex, stimulating, and demanding. We almost certainly are evolving to have different immune systems … as our species lives in ever larger and denser aggregations, with movements of people over ever longer distances between cities, giving rise to new sorts of epidemics as a result.

Read full, original post: How do genes and culture co-evolve, and what are some examples of this in action?

Related article:  Why don't humans have fur? We have theories, but no answers
Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
can you boost your immune system to prevent coronavirus spread x

Video: How to boost your immune system to guard against COVID and other illnesses

Scientists have recently developed ways to measure your immune age. Fortunately, it turns out your immune age can go down ...
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 ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend