Sometimes we forget that we are still evolving as people. In the grand scheme of things, time passes so slow that no generation stays around to notice — until now. Comparing the genomes of Tibetans and Han Chinese, the majority ethnic group in China, biologists have found that at least 30 genes have undergone evolutionary change in the Tibetans as they adapted to life on the high plateau. Among Tibetans, they found, a set of genes evolved to cope with low oxygen levels as recently as 3,000 years ago. This, if confirmed, would be the most recent known instance of human evolution….While conducting ethnographies we often spend our time looking for quick changes in human behavior, when in fact it may be more interesting to try and identify recent shifts in human evolution and, in particular, see if the specific population we are looking at is changing genetically in response to their local conditions and surrounding culture.
Archive for the ‘China’ Category
July 23, 2010 Leave a comment