«X-Men» among us

Scientists from Cornell University in the U.S. and the University of California in Los Angeles made an unexpected and horrifying discovery. The study of genes 14,002 people from all over the world has shown that in recent years people have acquired a lot of new, not previously encountered mutations. A rare inherited disease become truly ubiquitous.


According to lead study author, associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and bioinformatics at the University of California, John Novembra, they assumed that rare variants of genes appear unusual at present, but their number was a complete surprise.

Indeed, there is much to be surprised: in most of the subjects were found gene variants that were previously very rare. For example, a 10,621 man had been found at least one of the 12 diseases transmitted by inheritance. This does not include widespread. For example, one of the most famous — multiple sclerosis, bipolar mental disorder, osteoarthritis, schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease. Only 3381 people were healthy.

Fifty years ago, has already conducted similar research, which found that the mutant gene was found in only one person in a thousand. At the moment, the number has reached 5 members.

What is the cause of these variations? Previously, scientists believed that genetic abnormalities lead going wild background radiation and environmental pollution, which is full of mutagens. Now added to them one more reason — overpopulation.

The faster growing population, the more mutations in the gene pool of humanity appears. Over the last ten thousand years, the population of the planet has increased from a few million to seven million. Moreover, the fastest growth was in the last two thousand years. During this time, was replaced by one hundred generations. A transfer of billions of chromosomes is faster and easier, which creates more opportunities for mutations in the genome.

As a result — the rare gene variants are no longer so. And scientists do not exclude that in the future may show new types of mutations that will make the human body unknown changes.

Some of the followers are trying to dream on "mutants." For example, Associate Professor, University of California Darren Kesner suggested that among us will soon be a fantastic view — "X-Men." In this case, they will not be created in secret laboratories, both in the popular blockbuster, as they occur naturally.

According to the candidate of medical sciences, associate professor of the Institute of Medical Genetics and author of "The mutations occur or how harmful genes" Alexander Prytkova, genes can change and acquire new properties. This phenomenon has been called a mutation. That it is responsible for variability — a necessary condition for the evolution and diversity of life forms.

The reason for their appearance is in a variety of environmental factors, which interact with each organism. They can be both chemicals and ionizing radiation.

It is quite obvious that the mutation — it is quite normal natural phenomenon. Useful — fixed in the course of evolution, harmful — form the basis of inherited diseases. And a number of these diseases is growing every year. It is possible that this trend will continue and even accelerate. But it is possible that behind this improvement in detection of hereditary diseases and not a real increase in their number.

And in the end you can recall about the mutations that have "X-Men." Jamie Madrox is able to create exact copies of the organism. Of Victor Creed was superhuman strength, stamina, sharp teeth and claws. Cain Marko was invincible and had the ability to heal. Fred J. Dukes could stomach almost all organic matter.

Naturally, all of this is fantastic, but who knows what will lead us evolution.

Category: Scientists, experts, science

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