Evolution May Make it Harder for Humans to Hold Their Liquor

Live Science | 2/23/2018 | Staff
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Humans are still evolving… but before toasting to that, know this: Some of the genetic changes may make hangovers worse, a new study finds.

So far, only certain populations have genetic adaptations that make it hard for them to process alcohol, but there's no telling how fast it will spread to other populations, the researchers found.

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In this week's strange news, an atom gets caught on camera, enriched uranium is found floating over Alaska and a woman makes a horrifying discovery in her own eyes.

The researchers did the study so they could learn which regions of the human genome have adapted — that is, evolved — over the past tens of thousands of years, Voight said. To investigate, they looked at publicly available data from the 1,000 Genomes Project, a large sequencing venture that's collected the genomes of more than 2,500 individuals of diverse ancestries — representing 26 different populations from four continents, Voight said.

Genomes - Researchers - Sites - Signs - Adaptation

After analyzing the genomes, the researchers found a few genetic sites that showed signs of adaptation.

One of these sites is known as the alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) gene cluster. Previous research has also this pointed out, the study said.

People - Alcohol - Bodies - Acetaldehyde - Accumulates

When people drink alcohol, their bodies break it down into a toxic intermediary known as acetaldehyde. When acetaldehyde accumulates in the body, it can lead to adverse reactions, including facial flushing, nausea and rapid heartbeat, according to a 2007 report in the journal Alcohol Research Current Reviews.

But acetaldehyde typically doesn't stay in the body for long, because it gets metabolized into something less toxic known as acetate, which can be easily broken down and eliminated from the body.

People - East - Ancestry - Variation - Alcohol

Some people with East Asian ancestry have a genetic variation that makes it uncomfortable to drink too much alcohol. This variation reduces the function of...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Live Science
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