HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Early Europeans unable to stomach milk

The first direct evidence that early Europeans were unable to digest milk has been found by scientists at UCL (University College London) and Mainz University.

In a study, published in the journal 'PNAS', the team shows that the gene that controls our ability to digest milk was missing from Neolithic skeletons dating to between 5840 and 5000 BC. However, through exposure to milk, lactose tolerance evolved extremely rapidly, in evolutionary terms. Today, it is present in over ninety per cent of the population of northern Europe and is also found in some African and Middle Eastern populations but is missing from the majority of the adult population globally.

Dr Mark Thomas, UCL Biology, said: "The ability to drink milk is the most advantageous trait that's evolved in Europeans in the recent past. Without the enzyme lactase, drinking milk in adulthood causes bloating and diarrhoea. Although the benefits of milk tolerance are not fully understood yet, they probably include: the continuous supply of milk compared to the boom and bust of seasonal crops; its nourishing qualities; and the fact that it's uncontaminated by parasites, unlike stream water, making it a safer drink. All in all, the ability to drink milk gave some early Europeans a big survival advantage."

The team carried out DNA tests on Neolithic skeletons from some of the earliest organised farming communities in Europe. Their aim was to find out whether these early Europeans from various sites in central, northeast and southeast Europe, carried a version of the lactase gene that controls our ability to produce the essential enzyme lactase into adulthood. The team found that it was absent from their ancient bone DNA. This led the researchers to conclude that the consumption and tolerance of milk would have been very rare or absent at the time.

Scientists have known for decades that at some point in the past all humans were lactose intolerant. What was not known was
'"/>

Contact: Alex Brew
a.brew@ucl.ac.uk
44-020-767-99726
University College London
26-Feb-2007


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Early fire risk for mountains near Los Angeles
2. Early environmental exposure may accelerate age-related neurodegeneration
3. Early exposure to indoor fungus molecules may protect infants against future allergies
4. Early-stage sperm cells created from human bone marrow
5. Early HIV treatment fails to restore memory T cells
6. Early Earth haze may have spurred life, says University of Colorado study
7. Early detection
8. Early family experience can reverse the effects of genes, UCLA psychologists report
9. Early to bed, early to rise
10. Early exposure to synthetic estrogen puts DES Daughters at higher risk for breast cancer
11. Top researcher-educators receive Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers

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


(Date:7/2/2020)... ... July 01, 2020 , ... AltruBio ... findings of Neihulizumab, a biologic for the treatment of steroid-refractory acute graft-versus-host disease ... hemato-oncologist Dr. Paul J Martin of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, this ...
(Date:7/1/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... July 01, 2020 , ... ... that it had completed the purchase of Teva-Takeda Pharmaceuticals’ packaging facility in Minakuchi, ... company’s existing Japanese clinical supply facility located in Kakegawa, the new 60,000-square-foot facility ...
(Date:6/28/2020)... ... June 25, 2020 , ... ... biopharmaceutical R&D, today announced that it has entered into a multi-year contract ... (Multiclonics®), to support their translational and clinical research strategy to discover and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2020 , ... ... solutions in complex indoor environments, announced today that Derek Fournier has been appointed ... of Chairman of the Board, effective immediately. , “DeCurtis Corporation has been ...
(Date:6/23/2020)... NEW YORK (PRWEB) , ... June 22, 2020 ... ... profiling its lead glutamine antagonist, DRP-104, will be presented June 22-24 during the ... anti-cancer effects of DRP-104; and, the other profiles the potent, consistent single agent ...
(Date:6/19/2020)... ... , ... The Vitaspace project was founded by the famous Russian ... life and find a way (medicine or technology) that will help to preserve youth, ... scientists from all over the world, doctors, and all people who care. , The ...
(Date:6/11/2020)... , ... June 09, 2020 , ... ... Phase I of a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program funded by the ... Century: Rapid Toxin Detection in the Field”. The project’s goal was to engineer ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: