Monday, April 12, 2021

A Gene Variant Partly Explains Why Peruvians are Among the World’s Shortest People

Peruvian man walking up cobblestone path

     In this article, a common variant in DNA is found to reduce certain people’s height by about 2 centimeters. Just like the man above in the picture walking in the ancient Incan Village of Ollantaytambo, Peruvians are some of the world’s shortest people as a population, and versions of this gene can partly explain why. There is about 4,00 common variation in DNA that are known to affect height but the gene variant found in 5 percent of their population reduces height by 2.2 centimeters. Those who carry a copy of the gene from both parents are on average 4.4 centimeters shorter than the average height. According to a Nature report by Asgari S. et al,  the variant located in a gene known as fibrillin 1, which produces a protein involved in forming bone, connective tissues, skin, and other tissues. I found this article interesting because in this research we can view that natural selection favored the short-stature variant in the Peruvians, even though the reason why is unknown.




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