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Humans aren’t quite done evolving, a dramatic new study has found.
Researchers analyzing genetic and health data on hundreds of thousands of people, uncovered evidence to suggest natural selection has an ongoing, albeit small, effect on modern humans.
Study - Men - Body - Mass - Index
The new study appears to be favour larger, ‘hunkier’ men with a greater body mass index, and younger mothers.
Researchers examined data from the UK Biobank, looking at genetic variants and their correlation to the number of children people had during their lifetime.
People - Study
Of the people included in the study, all were aged 45 and older.
The team analyzed several traits, including height, body mass index, and age at first birth (for women), to reveal how evolutionary processes may be at play in today’s society.
Data - Phenotyping - Study - Selection - Humans
‘Combining high-throughput molecular genetic data with extensive phenotyping enables the direct study of natural selection in humans,’ the authors explain in the new paper, published to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
While the effects may be weak, the researchers say it does appear natural selection continues to be shaping human evolution.
Circumference - Study - Selection - Extremes
From height to waist circumference, the study found natural selection tends to disfavour extremes.
'Here we demonstrate that the genetic variants associated with several traits, including age at first birth in females and body-mass index in males, are also associated with reproductive success,' they wrote
For babies, however, this may not necessarily be...
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