HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Natural selection at work in genetic variation to taste

SALT LAKE CITY - A genetic variation seen worldwide in which people either taste or do not taste a bitter, synthetic compound called PTC has been preserved by natural selection, University of Utah and National Institutes of Health researchers have reported.

Phenylthiocarbamide (PTC) is not found in nature, but the ability to taste it correlates strongly with the ability to taste other bitter substances that occur naturally, especially toxins. Eons ago, the ability to discern bitter tastes developed as an evolutionary mechanism to protect early humans from eating poisonous plants.

"We found evidence at the molecular level that natural selection has maintained the variation in the gene that allows us to taste or not taste PTC," said geneticist Stephen Wooding, Ph.D., corresponding author on the study and a post-doctoral fellow at the Eccles Institute of Human Genetics at the University of Utah School of Medicine.

Today, the ability to taste, or not taste, the compound influences what people eat and even whether they smoke cigarettes.

People who can taste PTC are less likely to eat cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, according to Wooding, which could be a problem because these vegetables contain important nutrients. If the ability to discern bitter tastes discourages PTC tasters from eating broccoli, it also may have the advantage of dissuading them from inhaling the acrid smoke of cigarettes. "Among smokers, there seems to be an excess of PTC non-tasters," Wooding said. "So it seems that PTC tasters are less likely to smoke."

The researchers recently published their findings in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

Typically, over hundreds of thousands years, genetic drift takes place, a process in which gene frequencies and genetic traits change randomly within a population. Under that expectation, everybody either would be a PTC taster or non-taster by now. But worldwide the ratio has remained at roughly
'"/>

Contact: Stephen Wooding
801-585-7423
University of Utah Health Sciences Center
25-Jun-2004


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Natural mineral locks up carbon dioxide
2. Naturalists of the Isthmus of Panama
3. Natural, man-made mix promises biggest landscape plant growth
4. Natural enemies help scientists untangle tropical forest food webs
5. Natural killer cellers are made, not born
6. Natural selection in a nutshell
7. Natural fat compound may be basis for new class of drugs targeting obesity
8. Natural hormone could reverse heart damage
9. New biography details adventures of Fritz Muller, A Naturalist in Brazil
10. Natural selections fingerprint identified on fruit fly evolution
11. UC Riversides David Reznick receives 2003 E. O. Wilson Naturalist Award

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/5/2017)... April 5, 2017 Today HYPR Corp. ... the server component of the HYPR platform is officially ... the end-to-end security architecture that empowers biometric authentication across ... has already secured over 15 million users across the ... of connected home product suites and physical access represent ...
(Date:4/3/2017)...  Data captured by IsoCode, IsoPlexis Corporation,s ... statistically significant association between the potency of ... objective response of cancer patients post-treatment. The ... cancer patients will respond to CAR-T cell ... to improve both pre-infusion potency testing and cell ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... March 30, 2017 Trends, opportunities and forecast ... behavioral), by technology (fingerprint, AFIS, iris recognition, facial recognition, ... others), by end use industry (government and law enforcement, ... and banking, and others), and by region ( ... Asia Pacific , and the Rest ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... The ... endogenous context, enabling overexpression experiments and avoiding the use of exogenous expression plasmids. ... is transformative for performing systematic gain-of-function studies. , This complement to loss-of-function ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... the Netherlands and LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. ... The Institute of Cancer Research, London ... use MMprofiler™ with SKY92, SkylineDx,s prognostic tool to risk-stratify patients ... trial known as MUK nine . The University of ... trial, which is partly funded by Myeloma UK, and ICR ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... (ADC) therapeutics, today confirmed licensing rights that give it exclusive global access ... developed in collaboration with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). Additionally, an ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... USDM Life Sciences ... the life sciences and healthcare industries, announces a presentation by Subbu Viswanathan and ... presentation, “Automating GxP Validation for Agile Cloud Platforms,” will present a revolutionary approach ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: