Thursday, May 30, 2024

Study indicates genetic evolution in Europeans within last few millennia

A team of researchers has found evidence of natural-selection-based evolutionary changes to people living in Europe over the past 2,000 to 3,000 years. In their paper published in the journal Nature Human Behavior, the group describes their comparative study of people living in the U.K. today, with those living across Europe over the past several thousand years. Noting that few studies have been conducted with the goal of learning more about evolutionary changes in people living in relatively modern times, the researchers found evolution at work in 755 genes related to the traits they had selected over the past few millennia; they included skin pigmentation, dietary traits, and body measurements. All three traits were found to be under near constant selection pressure, leading to near constant changes to the genome. The research team acknowledges that their results are preliminary and more detailed work is needed.

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