What is it about?
This study looked at the genes that affect how physically active humans are and how long ago these genes might have developed. The researchers found that some of these genes are very old and existed even before modern humans evolved. We found that most of these genes are in non-protein coding regions, meaning they do not directly make proteins. They also found that these genes have been conserved across humans, Neanderthals, and chimpanzees, meaning they have remained mostly unchanged over time. However, there were a few instances where humans experienced unique selective pressures that caused some changes in these genes related to physical activity.
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Why is it important?
This study is important because it sheds light on the evolution of genes related to physical activity in humans. By understanding the age and conservation of these genes, researchers can better understand the underlying biological mechanisms that influence physical activity levels in humans. This information can be useful in developing interventions to promote physical activity and improve health outcomes. Additionally, by examining the differences in these genes between humans, Neanderthals, and chimpanzees, researchers can better understand the evolutionary history of physical activity in humans and our ancestors.
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This page is a summary of: Alleles associated with physical activity levels are estimated to be older than anatomically modern humans, PLoS ONE, April 2019, PLOS, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0216155.
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