Wednesday, July 8, 2020

A gene variant partly explains why Peruvians are among the world's shortest people

Peruvian man walking up cobblestone path

There are approximately 4000 common variations of DNA that can effect someones height. However, a study done by statistical geneticist Samira Asgari of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston shows that there is a specific gene variant that is reduces height by 2.2 centimeters and it is in 5 percent of Peruvians. That is the largest amount controlled by a common version of a gene to date. Continually, if the gene is found in both the mother and the father their children's height will be reduced by 4.4 centimeters on average when compared to those who do not carry the gene. The specific variant of the gene is known as FBN1. This FBN1 produces a protein which is involved in forming connective tissue, bone, skin, and other related tissues. Thankfully, the gene does not lead to any large health concern in these individuals just simply a smaller statue. Asgari and team found through their study that evolution had favored the smaller statures. Nevertheless, they have yet to discover what advantage it gives the Peruvian population that carry it.

1 comment:

  1. This article was very interesting, I wonder if this gene is also found in other type of races. I took a trip to Peru back when I used to live in Colombia and I visited a town called Cusco, one thing I did notice was the most people were relatively shorter. Great article!