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Lactase Persistence Essay Question

Lactase Persistence Essay Question - w/in human populations...

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LACTASE PERSISTENCE ESSAY QUESTION When and where did anatomically modern Homo sapiens most likely evolve? o Around 30kya in Africa (Ethiopia) Details of “lactase persistence” case study o Humans generally nurse when babies, but routinely use milk into adulthood (from other mammals) o Many can’t digest lactose after weaning “switch” goes off o Lactose is sugar in milk which is broken down into smaller sugars (glucose & galactose) for digestion o The rxn requires lactase, made by the LCT gene & most humans have LCT switched off after weaned (thought to be an unnecessary energy investment) Is it primitive or derived in modern humans? o In modern humans, lactase persistence is derived because we are designed to have our lactase enzymes ‘switched off’ once we’re weaned What is the phenotypic & genotypic variation in lactase persistence found across &
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Unformatted text preview: w/in human populations o Phenotypes Lactase persistence = lactose tolerant Lactase non-persistence = lactose intolerant o Genotypes Homo or Heterozygous for LAC*P = High digestive capacity (HDC) Homozygous for LAC*N = LDC • What selective pressures shaped lactase persistence? o Availability of other forms of nutrients o Nomadic pastoralists used fresh milk on a regular basis and therefore had to be able to digest it • What does study say about potential speed of evolution? o The speed of evolution can be relatively fast, especially when we’re dealing with a matter of nutrition deciding life or death • Potential links between cultural & biological evolution in humans? o Certain ways of life could contribute to bio evolution depending on the way nourishment needs are met...
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