News & Events
A single gene could give us the opportunity to run for a long time
- January 14, 2020
- Posted by: Wiley M. Wagner
- Category: Science
About two or three million years ago, our hominid ancestors began to undergo serious changes in the context of their genome – which later manifested itself in the formation and strengthening of the Homo tree, to which we and all our ancestors belong. Specialists from the University of California today presented a very interesting study, which was based on the CMAH gene, lost in the course of evolution, due to which, in theory, our species at the early stage of its formation was one of the most enduring long-distance runners. Researchers conducted several experiments on mice using genetic engineering and genome sequencing.
The results were truly unusual – by introducing the same lost CMAH gene, the researchers began their observation of the mice. It turned out that in the process of “implantation”, the gene in one way or another influenced the heart rhythm of mice, increasing their overall endurance and tendency to dystrophy – this clearly indicates that in the past the early hominids of the person were really one of the most enduring runners. In addition to these changes, experts also found that in the altered mice, compared with their usual counterparts, the efficiency of oxygen absorption by muscles and bones significantly increased, and the rating and rhythm of fertility increased significantly after 15 days from the start of the experiment.
Thus, the loss of the CMAH gene in the genome of modern humans has become one of the evolutionary steps that nature has taken to more efficiently adapt humans in it – in particular, the loss of this gene is also associated with significant changes in the skeleton structure and the mode of movement of late hominids, and early people.
One way or another, the results of the study turned out to be very unusual – they clearly demonstrate that in the course of evolution, even the loss of important and predominant genes can serve well for further adaptation and strengthening of the biological species. So far, the results are being finalized by parallel studies, but soon a team of California experts will release a full-fledged article-analysis of this evolutionary phenomenon of the CMAH gene.