Posts Tagged ‘Charles Darwin’

Did slavery cause rapid natural selection among African Americans?

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

(io9) Ashley Michelle Williams has a fascinating article over at theGrio about a recent study that offers evidence that the harsh conditions of slavery subjected the African American population to strong evolutionary pressures. This could help explain what appear to be recent mutations in the genomes of African Americans. Williams writes:

Researchers found that of the African-American genomes in their sample, only 22 percent of the DNA analyzed came from Europeans. The remaining DNA was found to come from purely African ancestors, a finding in alignment with previous discoveries.

The main result of the study was that certain disease-causing variant genes were found to have become more common in African-Americans after their ancestors reached American shores — possibly because they presented greater benefits, according to an article published by the team in Genome Research.

Full story…

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