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:4/30/2016)... ... April 30, 2016 , ... Saturday, April 30, marks ... impact on public health. The World Veterinary Association (WVA) and the World Organization ... selected continuing education with a One Health focus, which emphasizes how veterinarians pursue ...
(Date:4/30/2016)... ... ... all of us, but there are things we can do to improve the odds of staying ... and more that there are simple, yet important steps that can be taken to maintain good ... recommends for her patients include;, , exercise , healthy ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 30, 2016 , ... Mercy College is expanding its Graduate Business Programs ... be expanding due to high demand: Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Organizational ... , School of Business Graduate Program Chair Dr. Ray Manganelli said: “We ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) that it has received ... is the first accreditation of three residency programs that Memorial is currently pursuing, ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... On Tuesday, April 26, ... the Southeast, celebrated the signature of Gov. Nathan Deal on SB 258, the “Rural ... (R - Cumming), offers a 70% tax credit to individuals and corporations which donate ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... TOKYO , April 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... Ahuja , George Phillips und ... wachsenden Unternehmens    ArisGlobal®, ein ... Life Sciences, gab heute bekannt, dass neue ... wachsenden Unternehmens gestoßen sind, die vielfältige Erfahrungen ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... 2016 Dr. Vivek Ahuja , ... Ste phen Schmidt ... provider of cloud-based software solutions for life sciences, today announced key ... a wealth of insight to a growing business.  This will bolster ... George Phillips joined ArisGlobal in the position of Vice ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... TapImmune,Inc. (TPIV), a clinical-stage ... gene-based immunotherapeutics and vaccines for the treatment of cancer & ... 3rd Annual Growth Capital Expo to be held ... Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The Company presentation ... th by Dr. John N. Bonfiglio a ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: