We've updated our Privacy Policy to make it clearer how we use your personal data.

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. You can read our Cookie Policy here.

Advertisement
The Epigenome Differentiates the Different Human Populations
News

The Epigenome Differentiates the Different Human Populations

The Epigenome Differentiates the Different Human Populations
News

The Epigenome Differentiates the Different Human Populations

Read time:
 

Want a FREE PDF version of This News Story?

Complete the form below and we will email you a PDF version of "The Epigenome Differentiates the Different Human Populations"

First Name*
Last Name*
Email Address*
Country*
Company Type*
Job Function*
Would you like to receive further email communication from Technology Networks?

Technology Networks Ltd. needs the contact information you provide to us to contact you about our products and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For information on how to unsubscribe, as well as our privacy practices and commitment to protecting your privacy, check out our Privacy Policy

For years we know that there are genetic differences among different human populations that contribute to their appearance and to a different susceptibility to disease.

These small genetic differences between healthy individuals are called "polymorphisms". The group of Manel Esteller, director of the Programme of Epigenetics and Cancer Biology at the Institute for Biomedical Research of Bellvitge, ICREA researcher and professor of genetics at the University of Barcelona, described today in the prestigious international biomedical journal Genome Research the existence of epigenetic differences between different human populations. That is to say, we are not only different by our DNA (genome) but also by the different regulation of this DNA (epigenome).

"We have studied the epigenomes of three hundred healthy individuals of three large human populations (United States Caucasians, Asians of the chinese ethnic group Han and sub-Saharan Africans) and we have found epigenetic differences that allows us to identify each group of humans"- explains Manel Esteller -"There are genes that are more or less active (due to different levels of the epigenetic mark called DNA methylation) according to the studied population group.

The target genes of these differences between humans are found in all the cellular pathways, but it is worth noting those related with the pigmentation of the skin and the different resistance to infections due to various pathogenic microorganisms, such as the virus (Hepatitis B and HIV) and bacteria (Escherichia coli and Shigella).

This latter finding would help to explain the different tendency to develop a disease among people of different geographic origin."

 The discovery has important implications for explaining the richness and diversity of the different human populations that can no longer be attributed only to a different genome, but also to a different epigenome. The speed and reversability of the epigenetic changes in the genome could also explain how occur the necessary changes in our cells and tissues when populations migrate from one territory to another. In evolutionary terms it provides clues to understand the rapid adaptation to the environment of the first humans who dispersed from the Horn of Africa all over  the planet.

Advertisement