Genetic mutation helps Tibetans live in the highlands

Scientists at the University of Utah found the genetic cause of adaptation of Tibetans to the lack of oxygen — one change a base pair of DNA that appeared about 8000 years ago and showed how she helps Tibetans live at altitude.

Josef Prchal, author of the study: "These results help us to understand the unique aspects of Tibetan adaptation to high altitude and the evolution of man". In the course of many years of study of the DNA of Tibetans, the scientists found that the gene EGLN1 changed one base pair and it happened eight thousand years ago. Over time, genetic variation that gives an advantage, appeared in 88% of the population of Tibet. The newly identified genetic variation protects Tibetans by reducing the excessive the body's response to lack of oxygen.

Prchal is confident that the findings go beyond just human evolution. Because oxygen plays a Central role in human physiology and diseases, and a deep understanding of how high-altitude adaptation works may lead to new methods of treatment of various diseases, including cancer.

We will remind, earlier the California biologists have found that Tibetans have a special gene.



See also

New and interesting