Friday, March 13, 2009

Evolution in action

'Genius of Charles Darwin' cover Was watching a UK documentary1 about Charles Darwin the other day. In it Richard Dawkins was interviewing a prostitute in Kenya who apparently has immunity to HIV. There's a significant percentage of the population infected with HIV, a high rate of clients per day for Nairobi prostitutes who commonly don't use condoms so the odds against prostitutes there contracting HIV are really low. So prostitutes like this lady are current and real life examples of humans evolving purely by natural selection to beat some virus (i.e. lots and lots of people die but only the one with genetic advantage survives to reproduce)!

Kind of ironic that the very occupation that's highly likely to get you infected with HIV is one that potentially reveals the genetic sequence needed to avoid it.

1. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Genius_of_Charles_Darwin
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3 Comments:

Anonymous jair said...

That's a rather old story, however there may have been some developments.

I think one thing this does point out (at least to me)is that it is now only in 'under-developed' nations that we will see any further evolution of humans. Bring on the African X-Men I say.

March 13, 2009 1:47 pm  
Blogger Lisa said...

Wow you still check your feeds, Jair :)

Yes! It is a crying shame that so many unfit humans in the developed nations are allowed to live long enough to reproduce :|

On the other hand medical techniques and knowledge advance to make up for our relative unfitness!

March 13, 2009 1:55 pm  
Blogger Michael said...

This is micro evolution. The ability to develop resistances to diseases is already written into human DNA - no additional genetic information has occurred.

So this is just a fine example of much ado about nothing.

December 05, 2009 11:23 pm  

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