How culture shaped the human genome: bringing genetics and the human sciences together

Kevin N. Laland, John Odling-Smee, Sean Myles

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

505 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Researchers from diverse backgrounds are converging on the view that human evolution has been shaped by gene-culture interactions. Theoretical biologists have used population genetic models to demonstrate that cultural processes can have a profound effect on human evolution, and anthropologists are investigating cultural practices that modify current selection. These findings are supported by recent analyses of human genetic variation, which reveal that hundreds of genes have been subject to recent positive selection, often in response to human activities. Here, we collate these data, highlighting the considerable potential for cross-disciplinary exchange to provide novel insights into how culture has shaped the human genome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-148
Number of pages12
JournalNature Reviews Genetics
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010

Keywords

  • RECENT POSITIVE SELECTION
  • NICHE-CONSTRUCTION
  • LACTASE-PERSISTENCE
  • HUMAN-POPULATIONS
  • SKIN PIGMENTATION
  • EVOLUTIONARY CONSEQUENCES
  • ADAPTIVE EVOLUTION
  • SEXUAL SELECTION
  • BRAIN SIZE
  • HISTORICAL HYPOTHESIS

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