Researchers at the University of California-Berkeley said their comparison of the genomes of ethnic Tibetan and Han Chinese could help scientists understand how the body deals with decreased oxygen and diseases associated with oxygen deprivation in the womb, according to a news release on the university's website.
The evolutionary biologists say the results of their study, which compares the genomes of 50 Tibetans and 40 Han Chinese, shows that Tibetans rapidly developed a unique ability to survive in altitudes above 13,000 feet, where oxygen levels are about 40 percent lower than at sea level.
The study said that Tibetans evolved to adapt to high altitudes after splitting off from the Han about 2,750 years ago.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Evolution Works Faster than We Originally Supposed