We are still evolving

Until recently it was thought that our species had stopped evolving far in the past. In fact, by peering into the human genome we have been able to see that our biology continues to change to suit particular environments. Most of us feel breathless in high mountain air because our lungs must work harder to capture the reduced levels of oxygen there. Andeans have a genetically determined trait that allows their hemoglobin to bind more oxygen. Tibetan and Ethiopian populations independently adapted to their high elevations, showing that natural selection can take us on a different path to reach the same outcome: survival.

National Geographic, April 2017

Heidi Dunn and Sally Chilvers are registered Chinese herbalists, acupuncturists and health directors at ben&biao in Sydney.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *