Ancient urbanization shaped your immune system
Published on November 10th, 2010 | by Admin1
The basic evolutionary theory: People who survive infection stand a better chance of having children and passing along disease-resistant genes.
Ian Barnes, study co-author and a molecular paleobiologist at University College London, screened DNA samples from 17 groups long associated with particular regions of Europe, Asia, and Africa-for example Anatolian Turks and the southern Sudanese.
Barnes analysed the DNA samples for a gene associated with resistance to tuberculosis (TB) and suspected of being associated with resistance to leprosy as well as to leishmaniasis, a reaction to sand fly bites, and to Kawasaki disease, a childhood ailment that involves inflamed blood vessels and can lead to heart disease.
In areas of ancient urbanization, it turned out, “we found very high frequency” for the TB-resistance gene, said Thomas.