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:7/18/2020)... SAN ANTONIO (PRWEB) , ... July 16, 2020 ... ... PLOS ONE that demonstrates the effectiveness of the Invictus Medical Neoasis™ active noise ... (NICU) environment. The study reported that the Neoasis™ device attenuated the alarm sounds ...
(Date:7/4/2020)... ... July 03, 2020 , ... Aesthetics Biomedical ... and multiple awards for not only the products and treatments developed, but also ... Vivace® Microneedle RF. All the brands built by ABM have received several honors ...
(Date:7/1/2020)... ... July 01, 2020 , ... Cure Glioblastoma, a ... most common and aggressive adult brain cancer—announced today the appointments of its first ... charged with supporting the organization’s initiatives and overall vision. , "Senior Fellows are ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/18/2020)... ... July 16, 2020 , ... After research model surgery ... of a great surgery is only the beginning of a successful study, while protecting ... , Join Brad Gien, Global Head of Surgery from Envigo in a ...
(Date:7/10/2020)... ... July 08, 2020 , ... Bode Technology, ... of laboratory operations through its COVID-19 testing service, Bode-CARES . Bode-CARES combines ... Bode-CARES provides a turnkey solution that includes a comprehensive collection and ...
(Date:7/7/2020)... , ... July 06, 2020 , ... R3 International is ... featuring up to 200 million stem cells. Depending on the patient's condition, treatment may ... the US will die having some form of Alzheimers dementia, and the incidence continues ...
(Date:7/1/2020)... ... June 30, 2020 , ... ... that the launch of a new clinical diagnostics immuno-oncology service, TissueInsight ... microenvironment (TME). , “Flagship’s TissueInsight is a service that aids pathologists, oncologists, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: