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Friday, May 6, 2011

Have we stopped evolving?

How a man changed from its inception until today, and how much is able to change the future? Scientists agree that continues to evolve, but as an opportunity to, at least in aesthetic terms, regressing.

150 years ago when Charles Darwin formulated the theory of evolution by natural selection, conceived the question is - how the natural tendency to change relates to human.

There is no doubt that man is a creature unique in the living world. While white bears need warm fur that endured arctic cold, man, it takes a little imagination and skill to sew warm clothes or make a boat and go where it is warmer.

Precisely because of this, animals typical for the ability to adapt, scientists have long feared that human adaptation of nature in accordance with their needs over time cease to evolve.

Simply, our Mother Earth is no longer a challenge.

Stephen J. Gold, the famous evolutionary biologist once said: "People are biologically not change 40,000 years. Everything we call culture and civilization made ​​the same bodies and minds. "

It turns out that he, like many other scientists wrong.

Denies him the ability to map the human genome breakthrough in understanding human evolution. So scientists can compare the DNA of thousands of people around the world see how genetically different, and whether and how we evolved.

What's new?

"We are living testimonies of our past and we can through the DNA of modern man to know the full path of development of mankind. It is very exciting. We have just begun to put together a huge jigsaw puzzle of information in order to get a picture of human evolution, "explains Dr. Pardis Sabet, a geneticist from Harvard University.

In a recent study, the expert revealed 250 areas of the human genome has continued to change the selection in the last 10,000 years.

Some changes dependent on them, such as changing color, are quite obvious. However, our metabolism is also changed so that we can digest that previously did not bring in, change the capacity of thermo regulation, inhabitants of high mountains are accustomed to a lack of oxygen, and evolve in terms of building immunity to some diseases.

Technologies and innovations previously could not stop us in evolution. However, the world of today is so different than a century ago, let alone thousands of years ago. Almost everyone today has a roof over their head and enough food to survive and it is rare that someone kill the tumor before it suffers the reputation of their children. What then can affect natural selection?

Professor Steve Jones, geneticist at University College in London explains: "In Shakespeare's time, only one in three live births managed to experience the twenty-first year. Many of them succumbed to their genetic defects. However, today 99 percent of children experience this year. Natural selection is not stopped, but slowed down significantly. "

Many people today experience to transfer genes, but many choose not to do so. So in the end it turns out that natural selection is the same as before when people in the transmission characteristics of the offspring did not stop the will, but death.

Framing case

By analyzing data collected in the town of Framing in Massachusetts (USA) will continue to monitor how its inhabitants are evolving.

So far, it was discovered the changes occurring in an unexpected direction. Height decreases, while the mass increases. In doing so, it is not just that people eat more, but in their genome clearly see the transformation.

Does not exclude the possibility that the direction of evolution varies, so that future weight and height are very different.

It turns out then that will never stop evolving. It is impossible to predict where we will be in future lead. All we can do is to observe changes in the world around us and make projections.

Developing technology, however, we can directly influence the genetics. Already in IVF clinics performing genetic diagnosis of embryos, so that parents make sure their child will have one of the hereditary diseases or disorders.

In the United States can be selected and sex of the child and the plan was that parents can choose eye color and hair offspring, but because of the outcry of religious groups, scientists have abandoned the idea.

It seems that culture and technology such as genetic engineering is changing our world so that our natural selection is not necessary. Evolution will lead to a man.

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