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Chapter 15

Textbook Chapter 15 - Recent Human Evolution

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Esteban Parra

Notes From Reading CHAPTER 15:R ECENT H UMAN EVOLUTION PGS .355-377) Introduction - Humans did not stop evolving once they reached the status of anatomically modern humans - As we developed agriculture and grew dramatically in size, we changed our interactions with the environment, which ahs led to a number of genetic changes in human populations Genetics and Population History - Human populations are constantly interacting with each other, and we are interested in the genetic effects of such events The Origin of Native Americans - When Columbus arrived in the New World, he thought he has succeeded in reaching the “Indies”, the term then used for Asia - Native Americans were seen as one of the lost tribes of Israel - Some argued that Asia was the place of origin for Native Americans, and the dominant view since then has been that Asians moved into the Americas across the Berling Land Bridge - This land bridge did not appear or disappear suddenly, but developed slowly over thousands of years as sea levels dropped - The Genetic Evidence for an Asian Origin o Studies of genetic markers and DNA analysis consistently found that Native Americans are more similar to populations in Asia, particularly Northeast Asia, then to other human populations o Mitochondrial DNA haplogroup distributions support the connection between Asia and North America, confirming that Native Americans are he descendants of the migrants from Northeast Asia - How Many Migrations? o Based on patterns of diversity in DNA markers, it seems clear that Native Americans came from a single source of ancestors in Siberia The Population History of Ireland - Although body, facial, and cranial measures are affected by environmental actors, a number of studies have shown that they can also be used to unravel genetic differences between populations - Genetic Impact of Gene Flow from England and Wales o One measure, associated with overall body size, showed a distinctive gradient from the eat coast to the west coast of Ireland; average pattern of larger body size in the west o Much immigration from England and Wales began in the early 1600s, and these immigrants settles predominantly in the eastern part of Ireland - Genetic Impact of Viking Invasion o Measures of craniofacial height show a much different pattern; distinct pattern of shorter faces and heads in the middle of the island Genetic Ancestry of African Americans - Genetics of African Americans provides an example of the potential confusion between genetic ancestry and cultural identity - There has been gene flow from Europeans into the African American gene pool, mostly from European men who fathered children with enslaved African women - Allele frequencies in African Americans tend to be between those of Europeans and Africans but remain closer to those of Africans Notes From Reading CHAPTER 15:R ECENT H UMAN E VOLUTION (PGS.355-377) - The amount of European ancestry was greater on the father’s side than on the mother’s side o Suggesting it was more common for European men to father children with African American women than European women to have the children of African American men o This is consistent with the history of slavery in the United States Natural Selection in Human Populations - Natural selection has been operating throughout hominin evolution, resulting in a number of major anatomical changes, such as the origin of bipedalism and the increase in brain size and complexity Hemoglobin, Sickle Cell, and Malaria - One of the best-known examples of natural selection operating on a discrete genetic trait is the relationship of hemoglobin (transport oxygen to body tissues) - Normal structure of beta chain of hemoglobin is coded for by an allele usually called hemoglobin A o The A allele is the only one present, and as a result everyone has the AA, or normal adult hemoglobin, genotype - Hemoglobin Variants o Sickle Cell-Anemia – A genetic disease that occurs in a person homozygous for the sickle cell allele, which alters the structure of red blood cells (genotype: SS) o Mutation introduces the S allele, but natural selection eliminates it - Distribution of the Sickle Cell Allele and Malaria o Infectious Disease – A disease caused by the introduction of an organic foreign substance into the body o Noninfectious Disease
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