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Science & Technology
Study finds evidence of genetic changes to prehistoric cranial development human stature
2019-10-10
[PHYS.org] A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in the U.S. has found that genetics played a large role in changes in height for Europeans over the past 38,000 years. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group explains their comparison of skeletal and DNA data from early Europeans.

Prior research has shown that genetics and environmental factors both contribute to height‐those whose parents pass on "tall" genes will likely grow tall, for example, unless they have inadequate nutrition. In this new effort, the researchers wondered whether genetics or environment played a role in the changes in average height that occurred in European people over the past 38,000 years. To find out, they looked at data describing height for 1,100 skeletal remains and compared it with DNA extracted from the remains of 1,071 individuals who once lived in Europe. More specifically, they looked at people living during known periods when there were clearly changes in height.

Prior research has shown that there was an average reduction in height between the Early Upper Paleolithic and the Mesolithic. The reverse occurred between the Mesolithic and Neolithic. Prior studies have also shown that changes in height are generally more pronounced in standing individuals than in those that are sitting, suggesting such changes are due more to leg length, than torso.

In their work, the researchers applied what they describe as polygenic risk (PRS) scores to describe genetic factors contributing to height. They note that such scores have been used to show that approximately 30 percent of variants in modern Europeans can be used to explain height averages. They report that they found that the changes in stature over the past 38,000 years were mostly due to genetic effects caused by population replacements, rather than environmental effects. They note that there were some periods when environment played a larger role, such as during the Bronze Age‐and that geography sometimes played a role, as well. Modern northern Europeans are on average taller than southern Europeans, for example.

Posted by:Besoeker

#3   (once used this Japanese before/after and pygmies in a lecture on genes vs. enviro).

Rantburg U ruuuuulz! :-D
Posted by: trailing wife   2019-10-10 21:39  

#2  On the other hand, pygmies eat meat almost exclusively (once used this Japanese before/after and pygmies in a lecture on genes vs. enviro).
Posted by: g(r)omgoru   2019-10-10 10:00  

#1  A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in the U.S. has found that genetics played a large role in changes in height for Europeans over the past 38,000 years.

BFO. Check the average height of Japanese pre and post-war. One thing the American occupiers were focused on was making food readily available breaking up the rice cartels and their power over the market. Make significant changes to the (market) environment* and things change. Mr. Darwin to the courtesy phone.

* now the socialists are working hard to reverse that diet advantage in this country. You think they're seeking to 'equalize' the opportunity for playing in the NBA?
Posted by: Procopius2k   2019-10-10 09:52  

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