Friday, December 3, 2021

Genetic adaptations to diving discovered in humans for the first time

    Genetic Adaptations To Diving Discovered In Humans For The First Time

Recent studies showed that an indigenous people group in Indonesia, the Bajau, have genetically enlarged spleens. This may be due to acute hypoxia, low arterial oxygen supply where blood oxygen level insufficient. When diving the Bajau's heart rate slows and blood vessels in extremities shrink in order to prioritize blood flow to organs. The spleen is able to contract in order to increase the amount of oxygenated RBCs available. This process increases oxygen in the body's circulation by 9% allowing for up to 70m dives. The Bajau are able to dive without any equipment save for goggles for reportedly up to 13 mins straight.   

1 comment:

  1. Interesting how ancestral practices have impacted the Bajau genetics today. I wonder if this acute hypoxia will allow the Bajau to expand their dive depth and increase blood circulation in the next 100 years. I also wonder if the changing aquatic environment will impact their dive time in the long run.