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Saturday, February 16, 2013

A gene change and racial differences

The New York Times reports that a change in a single gene seems to be responsible for some of the characteristics of East Asian people. These people are Han Chinese, Japanese, Thais, and others, including Native Americans, who descended from East Asian peoples. The gene is EDAR.

One thing that the researchers did was to use mice, which also have a form of the EDAR gene. Researchers produced mice with the gene altered as it is in East Asian peoples. The mice had changes in their hair, fat deposits, sweat glands, and mammary gland sizes, corresponding to how East Asian peoples differ from others.

If you are interested in more, read the New York Times article. The original reports require a paid subscription, as far as I can tell.

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