SC Community

Focused on art and science, our media was founded by the Hungarian civil organization (NGO) GeoThink in 2010 without any financial help but with keen collaboration of a group of friends, volunteer journalists, young researchers and artists with the aim of keeping and creating value. Our main goal is to provide the opportunity of a stepping stone for creative and talented people.
After the Hungarian success we are keen on continuing this work worldwide, first in English, Spanish and Portuguese than in further languages too - aiming to create value by bringing science and art closer to the public. We now intend to create an international and multicultural media and we welcome every creative and talented person who wants to join us, who has thoughts, opinion, research topic, artwork, or even travelling testimonials to share. This cross-border attitude and the multilingual media can connect people from all around the world who can learn from each other, who can share different cultural backgrounds.

Being a scientist or artist is a kind of privilege and mystery since the mankind can think about himself, it can give you the impression of initiation. Whitin science you whish to learn the world, in art you want to create something new from the world you have learnt. In both, you are free, your thoughts are free. Get to know, create, find your voice. This is the best place for it. Join us!

User login

Contact

Penn Geneticists Identify Genes Linked to Western African Pygmies' Small Stature

Printer-friendly versionKüldés E-mailben

If Pygmies are known for one trait, it is their short stature: Pygmy men stand just 4'11" on average. Now, a study of the western African Pygmies in Cameroon, led by geneticists from the University of Pennsylvania, has identified genes that may be responsible for the Pygmies' relatively small size.

Now a new study of the Western African Pygmies in Cameroon, led by geneticists from the University of Pennsylvania, identifies genes that may be responsible for the Pygmies’ relatively small size.

The work also provides evidence based on genetic signatures of natural selection to suggest why these groups evolved to be small, with signs pointing to hormonal pathways and immune system regulation as possible drivers.

“There’s been a longstanding debate about why Pygmies are so short and whether it is an adaptation to living in a tropical environment,” said Sarah Tishkoff, senior author on the study and a Penn Integrates Knowledge professor with appointments in the genetics department of the Perelman School of Medicine and in the biology department of the School of Arts and Sciences.  “I think our findings are telling us that the genetic basis of complex traits like height may be very different in globally diverse populations.”

While hundreds of studies have sought and identified genes that play a role in height variations in European populations — nearly 180 such genes have been pinpointed — this is the first genome-wide study of genes that contribute to stature in African Pygmy populations.

“By performing a detailed genetic analysis, Dr. Tishkoff and her colleagues have identified many candidate genes that have played an adaptive role in Pygmy populations, including several related to stature,” said Irene Eckstrand, who oversees evolutionary-biology grants at the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences, which partially funded the work.  “This research illustrates the value of studying human traits in their evolutionary and ecological contexts for understanding how humans adapted to their local environments.”

Tishkoff led the study with Joseph Jarvis, a Penn postdoctoral researcher at the time the study was conducted and now a senior research scientist at the Coriell Institute for Medical Research.  Other Penn contributors included Laura Scheinfeldt, Sameer Soi, Charla Lambert, Bart Ferwerda and William Beggs of the Department of Genetics.

The Penn researchers collaborated with Larsson Omberg, Gabriel Hoffman and Jason Mezey of Cornell University; Alain Froment of the Musée de l’Homme in France; and Jean-Marie Bodo of the Ministère de la Recherche Scientifique et de l’Innovation in Cameroon.

Continue

Other contents

This week, Science Caffe brings you a taste of British, Russian and Indian Fashion. We... »
Ah yes, once that we’ve summited Matheran, a very different environment confronts... »
Neil Gaiman, one of the greatest names in contemporary fantasy literature, published his... »
  In order to maintain global leadership in science and engineering (S&E), as... »