Navigation Links
Adapting to pregnancy played key role in human evolution, study shows
Date:12/13/2007

AUSTIN, TexasThe human spine evolved differently in males and females in order to alleviate back pressure from the weight of carrying a baby, according to research spearheaded at The University of Texas at Austin.

The lumbar differences are documented for the first time in the Dec. 13 issue of Nature.

The researchers believe the adaptation first appeared at least two million years ago, in the early human ancestor Australopithecus. The male-female difference does not appear in chimpanzees, meaning the evolution to walking upright led to the adaptation.

"Natural selection favored this adaptation because it reduces extra stress on a pregnant female's spine," said University of Texas at Austin anthropologist Liza Shapiro, who conducted the research with graduate student Katherine K. Whitcome, now a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University. "Without the adaptation, pregnancy would have placed a heavier burden on back muscles, causing considerable pain and fatigue and possibly limiting foraging capacity and the ability to escape from predators."

Harvard anthropologist Daniel Lieberman also contributed to the study, which shows the key differences between males and females appear in the lower back, or lumbar portion of the spine.

Human spines have a unique forward curve in the lumbar region, but the curve extends across more vertebrae in females. That helps offset harmful forces that might occur on the spine when pregnant women lean back or hyperextend their spines to balance the weight of the fetus, Shapiro said. The joints between the vertebrae also are larger in females and angled differently than in males to better support the extra weight.

"Any mother can attest to the awkwardness of standing and walking while balancing pregnancy weight in front of the body," Shapiro said. "Yet our research shows their spines have evolved to make pregnancy safer and less painful than it might have been if these adaptations had not occurred."


'/>"/>

Contact: Liza Shapiro
liza.shapiro@mail.utexas.edu
512-471-4206
University of Texas at Austin
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. HIV therapy in pregnancy-data support WHO recommendations
2. Treating diabetes during pregnancy can break link to childhood obesity
3. Treating Diabetes During Pregnancy Could Lead to Thinner Kids
4. 15% of Women Struggle With Pregnancy-Related Depression
5. Pregnancy may increase the risk of developing binge eating disorder
6. Pregnancy may slow -- not accelerate -- progression to AIDS
7. Study indicates pregnancy does not harm chances of survival from cancer
8. Kaiser Permanente Study Shows One in Seven Women are Depressed Before, During, or After Pregnancy
9. IVF technique enables pregnancy without multiple births, Stanford researchers find
10. Maternal Mortality Declining in Middle-income Countries; Women Still Die in Pregnancy and Childbirth in Low-income Countries
11. Pancreas May Be Key to Pregnancy-Linked Diabetes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/24/2017)... ... January 24, 2017 , ... American Family Care (AFC) has opened a ... health care for residents in the area. The Bedford clinic will be the nineteenth ... four years by Dave Adams and Dr. Kristina Orio. Adams and Orio also independently ...
(Date:1/24/2017)... ... January 24, 2017 , ... ... natural supplement for relieving premenstrual syndrome, or PMS . , Most women ... These symptoms can include cramps, constipation, irritability, headaches, fatigue, and other discomfort. ...
(Date:1/24/2017)... ... ... Have Dreamed: A Novel of Miracles”: a beautiful and poignant glimpse into the unexpected ... her life. “Who Would Have Dreamed: A Novel of Miracles” is the creation of published ... , Sharon shares that she started her spiritual journey later in life, but mentions, ...
(Date:1/24/2017)... ... ... Octagon of Spiritual Balances”: a guide for the Christian seeking a path to ... Bernard J. Weathers, pastor of Word of Faith Ministries, in Colonia, New Jersey. ... degree in theology. , ““The Octagon of Spiritual Balances” exposes the deceptive will of ...
(Date:1/24/2017)... ... January 23, 2017 , ... ... house-caliber protein and espresso drink, announced its CLICK® Coffee Protein Drink is now ... Coffee Protein Drink Mix has become popular among health-conscious consumers who love coffee ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/24/2017)... January 24, 2017 www.Financialbuzz.com ... industries in the United States as ... 2016. In addition, Proposition 64, the California Cannabis Legalization Initiative, ... against on November 8, 2016. This outcome means that individuals ... and to grow a certain amount of cannabis for personal ...
(Date:1/24/2017)... , Jan. 24, 2017   QR Pharma ... company developing novel therapies for the treatment of ... the appointment of four world-class key opinion leaders ... appointments join QR Pharma,s previous roster of impressive ... direction to support the development of the breakthrough ...
(Date:1/24/2017)... 2017 Mezzion has filed a suit for ... alleging that Dr. Reddy,s committed fraud relating to Dr. ... Administration (FDA) cGMP practices, and misrepresenting its compliance to ... to Mezzion that it was compliant with FDA regulations, ... suit also states that Dr. Reddy,s misconduct was the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: