About a million years ago, we humans lost most of our body hair, a key moment in our evolution. A study shows that the genes that turn vegetation back on are still present in our genome.
studying, Published in eLife MagazineCompared our genetic blueprint to that of 62 other mammals, including elephants, manatees and armadillos, and examined how baldness evolved in different species at different times. The work also identified new genes and epigenetic regulators associated with body hair, a discovery that could one day be used to treat millions of people/men.
The technique of comparing broad changes in the genetic code of different mammals may also allow scientists to explore questions with profound implications for human health: which genes evolved into Naked mole rat Protects against cancer, and can it be manipulated in humans to treat or prevent disease? What genetic changes allow bowhead whales to live up to 200 years, much longer than humans, and can this knowledge be used to extend our lives?
One theory states that shedding body hair has proven beneficial for hunting in warm climates. Less hair, along with the development of a system that allows the body to cool off through perspiration, may have been key changes that allowed humans to become better hunters, able to stalk prey to exhaustion.Sources): Washington Post
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