Navigation Links
Human Intellect Backsliding From Lack of Evolutionary Pressure: Study
Date:11/16/2012

FRIDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The human race is slowly losing its intellectual and emotional capabilities because it no longer faces extreme evolutionary pressures, new research contends.

Human intelligence and behavior require optimal functioning of a large number of genes, but the intricate web of genes that gives people these capabilities has started to backslide, the scientists said in an article appearing Nov. 12 in the journal Trends in Genetics.

"The development of our intellectual abilities and the optimization of thousands of intelligence genes probably occurred in relatively nonverbal, dispersed groups of peoples before our ancestors emerged from Africa," study author Dr. Gerald Crabtree, of Stanford University, said in a journal news release.

In the early stages of human evolution, intelligence was critical for survival and there was immense selective pressure acting on the genes required for intellectual development. But once humans achieved a certain level of evolutionary progress, they slowly began to lose ground.

The development of agriculture led to urbanization, which may have weakened the power of natural selection to eliminate mutations that caused intellectual disabilities, the researchers explained.

Based on the frequency that harmful mutations appear in the human genome and the assumption that 2,000 to 5,000 genes are required for intellectual ability, Crabtree estimated the effect that the past 3,000 years (about 120 generations) of human history have had on humans. He concluded that all people now carry two or more mutations harmful to their intellectual or emotional stability.

He noted, however, that the loss of intellectual and emotional capabilities is quite slow and it's likely that a solution will be found in the future.

"I think we will know each of the millions of human mutations that can compromise our intellectual function and how each of these mutations interact with each other and other processes, as well as environmental influences," Crabtree said.

"At that time, we may be able to magically correct any mutation that has occurred in all cells of any organism at any developmental stage," he said. "Thus, the brutish process of natural selection will be unnecessary."

More information

The PBS show Nova asked experts to explain human intelligence.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Trends in Genetics, news release, Nov. 12, 2012


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Human umbilical cord blood cell co-culture supports embryonic stem cell expansion
2. Sociology, economics researchers receive grant to study development across the human lifespan
3. Gut Bacteria Often Similar in Humans, Chimps: Study
4. First trial in humans of minicells: A completely new way of delivering anti-cancer drugs
5. Testing pain killers on humans could save money and speed the arrival of new drugs
6. New, improved mouse model of human Alzheimers may enable drug discovery
7. Spread of human melanoma cells in mice correlates with clinical outcomes in patients
8. First gene therapy study in human salivary gland shows promise
9. Clinical trials for first-ever human hookworm vaccine advance
10. Bigger human genome pool uncovers rarer variants
11. A Viagra follow-up? Drug used to treat glaucoma actually grows human hair
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:7/22/2017)... ... July 22, 2017 , ... ... the majority of patients not requiring pain medication after three months post-operatively. However, ... Annual Meeting today in Toronto, Ontario, Canada found that those patients who ...
(Date:7/21/2017)... ... July 21, 2017 , ... The Ellis Agency, an eastern ... Epilepsy Foundation in a community wide charity event with the goal of bringing in ... young local woman who lives with epilepsy, recently launched a charity campaign of her ...
(Date:7/21/2017)... ... July 21, 2017 , ... Thomas ... of Witness , was awarded a $300,000 grant from The Pew Center for ... comfort with ambiguity and the recognition of one’s own limits among health professions ...
(Date:7/21/2017)... ... July 21, 2017 , ... ... $5,000 grant from the C. R. Bard Foundation, Inc. to support ... Hills , a service available through the nonprofit home care agency. Using evidence-based ...
(Date:7/21/2017)... ... July 21, 2017 , ... In the ... from the Multicenter Orthopaedics Outcome Network (MOON) demonstrated that patients could perform sports-related ... though activity levels decline over time. The study, presented today at the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:7/12/2017)... July 12, 2017 CarpalAID is a revolutionary new product ... surgery. Carpal tunnel syndrome affects more than 8 million ... the rate of men. The common methods of treating CTS are ... uncomfortable hand braces or gloves. ... CarpalAID is a clear patch worn on ...
(Date:7/11/2017)... Corp., also known as ,The Epigenetics Company, announced today the release of ... using the myDNAge ™ test. Based on Horvath,s Clock, so named ... biostatistics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA ... ™ technology is used to analyze DNA methylation patterns of over ... Epigenetic ...
(Date:7/11/2017)... -- The global market for liquid biopsy diagnostic and monitoring ... 2016.  Although in early stages, the global market has ... a result of the gradual shift towards personalized medicine ... a significant number of new liquid biopsy tests that ... to guide treatment decisions. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: