Key to Human Life at High Altitudes is 8,000-Year-Old Mutation

by Himabindu Venkatakrishnan on  August 18, 2014 at 2:33 PM Genetics & Stem Cells News
RSS Email Print This Page Comment
Tibetans thrive in the thin air on the Tibetan Plateau, an environment where others struggle to survive, situated at an average elevation of 14,800 feet.
 Key to Human Life at High Altitudes is 8,000-Year-Old Mutation
Key to Human Life at High Altitudes is 8,000-Year-Old Mutation
Advertisement

A study led by University of Utah scientists is the first to find a genetic cause for the adaptation - a single DNA base pair change that dates back 8,000 years - and demonstrate how it contributes to the Tibetans' ability to live in low oxygen conditions. The study appears online in the journal Nature Genetics on Aug. 17, 2014.

Advertisement
"These findings help us understand the unique aspects of Tibetan adaptation to high altitudes, and to better understand human evolution," said Josef Prchal, M.D., senior author and University of Utah professor of internal medicine. The story behind the discovery is equally about cultural diplomacy as it is scientific advancement.

Prchal traveled several times to Asia to meet with Chinese officials, and representatives of exiled Tibetans in India, to obtain permissions to recruit subjects for the study. But he quickly learned that without the trust of Tibetans, his efforts were futile. Wary of foreigners, they refused to donate blood for his research.

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Post your Comments

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
* Your comment can be maximum of 2500 characters
Notify me when reply is posted
I agree to the terms and conditions

More News on:

McArdle Disease 
Advertisement

News A - Z

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

News Search

Medindia Newsletters

Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Advertisement

Advertisement
Advertisement

Stay Connected

  • Available on the Android Market
  • Available on the App Store

Facebook

News Category

News Archive