Precision Wellness INITIATIVE Symposia 

We’re One—But We’re Not The Same: The Genetic Basis of Differential Human Physiology by Rasmus Nielsen 

Wednesday, March 6, 2019 | 5:30-7:30pm
Thomas W. Keating Bioresearch Building, Room 103
1657 E. Helen St., Tucson, AZ 85721

While we tend to be genetically similar to each other, there are important differences among humans caused by natural selection as our ancestors adapted to their local environments in different regions of the world. In this talk, I will give three examples of human physiological adaptation to the local environment. The first concerns physiological adaptation to the hypoxic environment at high-altitude. Tibetans harbor adaptive genetic variants in two genes that affect hemoglobin production. The second example is adaptation of the Inuit of Greenland to life in the Arctic, including low temperatures and a diet based primarily on fish and marine mammals rich in ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). The third example concerns the Bajau people—sea-nomads that obtain most of their food by free-diving. Our genetic analyses show that these groups have adapted to acute hypoxia via enlarged spleens, an organ that contracts in response to the dive stimulus to provide an oxygen boost through the expulsion of red blood cells. I will use these examples as an illustration of the importance of evolutionary thinking in human genetics and medical research more generally.

 

Recording

 


Precision Wellness INITIATIVE Symposia

The Exercise Paradox by Herman Pontzer 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019 | 5:30-7:30pm
Student Union Memorial Center, North Ballroom

 

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Precision Wellness INITIATIVE Symposia

Evolutionary Medicine by Randy Nesse 

Wednesday, May 3, 2019 | 5:30-7:30pm
Thomas W. Keating Bioresearch Building, Room 103
1657 E. Helen St., Tucson, AZ 85721

 

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