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Author Topic:   Human Evolution - Speciation
wormjitsu
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 39 (156591)
11-06-2004 7:48 AM


I was wondering if anyone had any knowledge as to if choices that humans make today and alter the genetic code of their offspring.
For example..if one civilization were to excessively drink alcohol and avoid excersize while eating only manufactured foods, and another were to do the opposite, could this over time, and over many generations cause a genetic mutation of one or both societies?
P.S. Thes "civilizations" are completely isolated from one another

Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by AdminNosy, posted 11-08-2004 1:21 PM wormjitsu has not replied
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 Message 6 by Coragyps, posted 11-08-2004 10:09 PM wormjitsu has not replied
 Message 7 by The Dread Dormammu, posted 11-10-2004 3:45 AM wormjitsu has not replied

  
AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 2 of 39 (157297)
11-08-2004 1:21 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by wormjitsu
11-06-2004 7:48 AM


Topic Title
The topic title is rather generic.
I would suggest "Mutations from environment of humans"
or "Human Future Speciation"
let me know
then I guess this should go to Biological Evolution.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by wormjitsu, posted 11-06-2004 7:48 AM wormjitsu has not replied

  
wormjitsu
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 39 (157429)
11-08-2004 8:14 PM


Yes that sounds like it would be a preferred title as it is more specific. I'll do that. hehe, im still new to the site and im re-learning words I havent used for years. Thanx!

  
AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 4 of 39 (157441)
11-08-2004 9:38 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
pink sasquatch
Member (Idle past 6108 days)
Posts: 1567
Joined: 06-10-2004


Message 5 of 39 (157454)
11-08-2004 10:01 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by wormjitsu
11-06-2004 7:48 AM


high altitude gene
For example..if one civilization were to excessively drink alcohol and avoid excersize while eating only manufactured foods, and another were to do the opposite, could this over time, and over many generations cause a genetic mutation of one or both societies?
Probably not with this specific example, unless the diet/exercise was so extreme that it reduced fertility in a way that was not overcome by human technology. Natural selection would only weed out those gene variants that reduce survival prior to reproduction, or reproduction itself.
Though there are such possibilities as the "grandmother" effect; that is, older relatives who help ensure survival of their kin after they themselves have passed reproductive age.
Diet does influence mutation rate - processed/cured meats like sausage, hot dogs, and bacon are mutagenic; as are well done or seared meats. A diet high in such things may increase genetic variation, but would also increase incidences of diseases like cancer.
There is the example of a "high altitude gene" in Himalayan populations that allows better use of oxygen, and thus better survival of offspring, at higher altitude. Free full text of the article here: Higher offspring survival among Tibetan women with high oxygen saturation genotypes residing at 4,000 m.
If you consider living at a high altitude as "choices that humans make today", than given the above reference, the answer is yes - the choices do influence the genetic code of their offspring.

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Coragyps
Member (Idle past 819 days)
Posts: 5553
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002


Message 6 of 39 (157458)
11-08-2004 10:09 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by wormjitsu
11-06-2004 7:48 AM


Not quite first-hand primary information, but there is a book review in the 21 October 2004 issue of Nature that at least shows that work is ongoing along this line. The book reviewed is Why Some Like it Hot: Food, Genes, and Cultural Diversity, G. P. Nabhan, Island Press, 2004. From T. Colin Campbell's review:
Nabhan identifies a group of 26 'disease genes' that are likely to have been fashioned by food factors and endemic diseases. He cites adult-onset diabetes, lactose intolerance and heritable food allergies as examples of interactions between genes, food and disease. He goes on to say that a large number of us are subject to one or more of these genetic 'disorders', as some would call them indeed they are so common that they should be considered normal.
He discusses in considerable depth the extensively studied link between malaria, sickle-cell anaemia, the consumption of fava beans, and glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency, in order to illustrate how a careful study of biology, culture and history can be much more rewarding than one of these disciplines alone. He takes the reader on a trail of discovery, visiting the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, where malaria has long been endemic. Here the traditional springtime consumption of fava beans offers those with the genetic disorder of G6PD deficiency some protection against the mosquito-borne disease. Coupling cultural, biological and historical analyses in this way is the basis for the field of nutritional ecogenetics.
I'm tempted to get the book, if only to clear up for myself what the heck fava beans have to do with sickle-cell anemia. Apparently, anyway, what wormjitsu (and a warm welcome to you!) is envisioning has already shaped populations of humans to some extent.

This message is a reply to:
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The Dread Dormammu
Inactive Member


Message 7 of 39 (157839)
11-10-2004 3:45 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by wormjitsu
11-06-2004 7:48 AM


Self Imposed Eugenics?
I'm not shure if this is realy adresses your question so tell me if I'm off topic; but now that we have the technology to look at our own genomes we can practice a form of self imposed eugenics (I know eugenics is often used as a dirty word but in this case I think it's quite harmless).
If a couple knows they have the ressesive genes for a harmful disease they might take steps to make shure that their children don't inherit the disease. Over time those alleles might entirely disapear from the gene pool.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by wormjitsu, posted 11-06-2004 7:48 AM wormjitsu has not replied

  
wormjitsu
Inactive Member


Message 8 of 39 (157855)
11-10-2004 5:04 AM


Hmm..you know I think its helpful that you bring up eugenics. Just a side note for Dormammu or anyone who posesses knowledge: just how many traits can the technology that we posess pick up from genomes as of today?
I've been hearing about sometime in the future couples could potentially "choose" just what kinds of traits they would preferr in their offspring. (hair color, eye color, intelligence, athleticism, ect.) I'm not well-informed about such experiments but I can definately see an ethical problem with such scientific practices. Anyone with knowledge of these practices or links to sites is definately deeply appreciated.
Dormammu, you mentioned "If a couple knows they have the ressesive genes for a harmful disease they might take steps to make shure that their children don't inherit the disease"..what kind of "steps" are you referring to? I'm not sure if you mean PREVENTIVE steps or simply a "heads up" so treatments can be arrranged.
Also, how successful are we at this time in detecting likelyhood of illnesses/diseases in ones later life?

Replies to this message:
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contracycle
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 39 (157859)
11-10-2004 5:34 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by wormjitsu
11-10-2004 5:04 AM


quote:
Dormammu, you mentioned "If a couple knows they have the ressesive genes for a harmful disease they might take steps to make shure that their children don't inherit the disease"..what kind of "steps" are you referring to? I'm not sure if you mean PREVENTIVE steps or simply a "heads up" so treatments can be arrranged.
These steps would be going through an IV process, sorting the embryo's to determine which carry the disease, and then implanting one or more that does not through standard IVF techniques.

This message is a reply to:
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The Dread Dormammu
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 39 (157860)
11-10-2004 5:46 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by wormjitsu
11-10-2004 5:04 AM


Well off the top of my head...
Dormammu, you mentioned "If a couple knows they have the ressesive genes for a harmful disease they might take steps to make shure that their children don't inherit the disease"..what kind of "steps" are you referring to? I'm not sure if you mean PREVENTIVE steps or simply a "heads up" so treatments can be arrranged.
Also, how successful are we at this time in detecting likelyhood of illnesses/diseases in ones later life?
Well there are a great deal of steps one could take depending on their attitudes towards different reproductive tecnologies. One obvious step a couple with heritable diseases, (expressed or not) could take is to decide not to have children at all. Steven Hawking (you know that, "wheelchair guy") and his wife chose this route.
Something else you could do is use in vitro fertilization (IVF) to make shure that any embryo you implant can be screened for the disease.
A third option exists as well. After a woman is already pregnant she can use amniocentesis to detect any genetic diseases and may choose to abort if the child has a disease.
All 3 of these practices, if widely used, would decrease the frequency of heritable diseases and hence have a "eugenic effect".
In answer to you question about the accuracy of the testing, it depends on the disease. With some genetic dieseses, if you have the gene you will most certainly have the Illness, while with others it's more iffy, and lots of diseases are simply not genetic.
I know that some see an ethical problem with this form of eugenics but I do not, provided it is not coerced. It should be noted that I am way outside of the mainstream on this issue but I cannot see any problem even with "designer babies".
This message has been edited by The Dread Dormammu, 11-10-2004 05:47 AM

This message is a reply to:
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Dr Jack
Member
Posts: 3514
From: Immigrant in the land of Deutsch
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 11 of 39 (157868)
11-10-2004 6:10 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by pink sasquatch
11-08-2004 10:01 PM


Alcohol and genes
Actually, drinking Alcohol has had a measurable effect on the genes of different cultural groups.
Since long-distance times european cultures drank beer. They did this because water was too unsafe to drink, while no known pathogens can survive in beer (due to the alcohol). Meanwhile oriental cultures boiled their water to purify it.
The result: Asians tend to have a lower alcohol tolerance than europeans, and alcohol does more harm to their bodies.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by pink sasquatch, posted 11-08-2004 10:01 PM pink sasquatch has not replied

  
contracycle
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 39 (157874)
11-10-2004 6:49 AM


Is that genetic though? Because I wonder how much of that might arise from the integration of the mothers and childs bloodstreams, and the exchange of chemicals and hormones et al.

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by Dr Jack, posted 11-10-2004 6:54 AM contracycle has not replied
 Message 21 by Loudmouth, posted 11-10-2004 12:58 PM contracycle has not replied

  
Dr Jack
Member
Posts: 3514
From: Immigrant in the land of Deutsch
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 13 of 39 (157879)
11-10-2004 6:54 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by contracycle
11-10-2004 6:49 AM


Was that a reply to me? Yes, it's genetic. In that tee-total parents of europeans still produce alcohol tolerant children, and drunkard asians still produce alcohol-intolerant children (typically). I remember reading that they had identified the actual genes responsible, but I don't have a source handy for that.

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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wormjitsu
Inactive Member


Message 14 of 39 (157891)
11-10-2004 7:59 AM


excersize and genetics
I appreciate the example given about how alcohol consumtion affected the genes of the europeans. I'm sure that they had some kind of dehydration problems back then..I wonder if being chronically dehydrated mutated the genome of europeans at all...?
Anyways, given this example...I'm curious if high levels of physical exertion throughout a lifetime from generation to generation could potentially mutate genetics.

Replies to this message:
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contracycle
Inactive Member


Message 15 of 39 (157898)
11-10-2004 8:32 AM


Interesting - I did not know this was genetically identifiable.
Does anyone know if a timescale can be established for when this mutation was introduced?

Replies to this message:
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