Evolution: Onwards!

Being one of the few people in the US, I believe, who has actually read (and marveled at) Darwin’s Origin of Species, I am always alert to news of evolution in action.  Came one today, from Bangladesh!

People living in the Ganges Delta, where cholera is an ancient, endemic and often lethal disease, have adapted genetically to the scourge through variations in about 300 genes, say researchers who have scanned their genomes for the fingerprints of evolution.

The researchers also found unexpected changes in genes that protect against arsenic, suggesting that arsenic exposure in Bangladesh is not just a modern problem associated with deep tube wells but may have ancient roots.

These instances of natural selection probably took place within the last 5,000 to 30,000 years, the researchers say, and show how evolution has continued to mold human populations through the relatively recent past.

Cholera and Adaptation

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