University of St Andrews A new research claims that social aspects like the food one eats or the place one lives may affect how natural selection performs on human genes. Professor Kevin Laland of the University of St Andrews School of Biology proposes that humans seem to have played a far more energetic part in their own evolution than it was conventionally imagined.

Reports of human evolution have, in the past, apparently inclined to believe that alterations in our external surrounding, further than human control, appeared to have motivated natural selection. Nevertheless, Professor Laland gives out a rising body of proof that cultural customs i.e. learned behavior and traditions seemed to have a deep outcome on human evolution.

For example, proof proposes that dairy farming apparently crafted the selective environment that appeared to tilt in the favor of the transmission of lactose tolerance. Some other examples comprise of the influence of human aggregation on the spread of genes that supposedly confer resistance to crowd diseases, and the co-evolution of cooking with genes that apparently decide tooth size.

Professor Kevin Laland commented, “Over the past 50,000 years humans have spread from Africa around the globe, begun to exploit agriculture, witnessed rapid increases in densities, domesticated hundreds of species of plants and animals, and by keeping animals experienced a new proximity to animal disease. Each of these transformative events has been self-imposed, but nonetheless triggered an evolutionary episode.”

He added, “This new understanding of human evolution opens the door to new insights into the evolution of learning, culture, language, intelligence, cooperation, sex differences and mating systems. It suggests that our cultural development and social determinations form part of a lasting legacy that is shaping the human genome.”

Professor Laland and colleagues are of the opinion that since the past 100,000 years, cultural factors seemed to have more chances to outline the selective environment undergone by human more than non-cultural processes. This appears to be mainly owing to cultural customs transmitted so fast. This apparently provides culturally provoked selection a far bigger intensity. The research proposes that our species could have experienced considerably additional genetic change in recent millennia than formerly comprehended.

The research was published in Nature Reviews Genetics.