what you eat contributes to the evolutionary constraints on what genes bubble up in the gene pool and flow down to your progeny. I had not planned on posting until after Thanksgiving (next post on the dialectical path) but I think a report on a genetic study of old European bones deserves notice. Here is one version from the NYT:
Researchers analyzed genes from 230 individuals who lived from2300 to 8500 years ago. The earliest population were hunter-gatherers, previously studied from the oldest bones found from 45,000 years ago, and then about 8500 years ago agriculturalists from the Near East moved into Europe. About 4500 years ago a group called the Yamnaya (new to me) moved west from the steppes of Russia. The genes of this last group seemed to have increased the height of Northern Europeans. One of the biggest findings though concerned the late rise of the gene responsible for lactose tolerance, about 4000 years ago, and it spread rapidly. Further genetic changes ensued from a diet built upon wheat, including risk for irritable bowel syndrome along with the capacity to extract important proteins from the wheat. And diet also helped shape the genetic changes for a shift to lighter skin color. An enormous study when you consider the sample size and what it took to collaborate and gain access to all of the bones and then the analysis and comparison within the group over time and with moderns. Wow! And so Happy Thanksgiving. Hope everyone has a safe holiday.