Sunday , September 25 2022

Five genetic advantages that few people have [Ciencia] – 11/18/2018


London.- The science fiction is full of superheroes that have supernatural gifts. But the truth is that some ordinary people also have special powers and often do not know it.

These are genetic benefits of a very small proportion of the population.

These benefits arise thanks to the genetic mutation, a natural process that changes our DNA.

Just as some inherit genetic diseases, others have more luck and inherit genes that give them unusual abilities.

BBC Mundo gives us five examples of some of the benefits that you could have thanks to your genes.

1. Perfect underwater vision

Most of us see everything blurry if we open our eyes when we dive into the water.

This is due to a problem in physics: the water density is similar to that of the eye fluid and the refracted light can not enter the eye well.

This is why people usually only see good when in contact with the air.

But there is an exception: the Moken people, who live in the Andaman Sea, a sector of the Indian Ocean between Burma and Thailand.

This breed is known as "gypsies of the sea" because they spend most of the year living in huts in water or boats, and they only go to land for stocks up to supplies.

If you have moken genes you can see crystal under the water.

It is believed that this genetic mutation arose because Moken spends a lot of time under water, collecting food from the seabed and snorkeling in the depths of the sea.

A scientific research published in 2003 in Current Biology has shown that the genetic mutation of the moken causes the eyes to change from water under water.

This allows the light to refract properly when it enters your eyes and allows you to see clearly, even sunk over 20 meters below the water.

2. Tolerance in the cold

Another genetic advantage observed in some indigenous populations has to do with the ability to withstand low temperatures.

The human body has a normal temperature range of between 36.5 and 37.5 ℃. That is why most people are better prepared to deal with hot climates than cold climates.

A normal body can not withstand excess colds. But there are some populations that have this ability, thanks to their specific genes.

Inhabitants such as Inits, living in the Arctic or Neetties, living in northern Russia, have adapted to freezing temperatures.

Their bodies respond differently to cold because they are biological components different from the rest.

For example, they do not tremble by cold, they have less sweat, their skin is much warmer than normal, and their metabolism is much higher.

These skills are purely genetic: if you move in the middle of the North Pole and live there for decades, you will not get the incredible abilities of people carrying these mutations.

3. Fewer hours of sleep

A skill you could have without belonging to a race is to work well with less hours of sleep than usual.

Several studies have shown that most people have to sleep between 7 and 9 hours to feel rested.

Sleep less can cause problems of concentration and health, physical and mental.

However, a twin-trial in 2014 led the American Academy of Medical Relief to discover that there is a genetic mutation that allows some people to need fewer hours of sleep.

People with the mutated DEC2 gene have the ability to have a more intense REM sleep, which makes their resting more effective.

With 6 hours of sleep or less you feel completely rested and ready to face the day.

However, experts point out that this mutation affects an extremely small percentage of people – less than 1% of those who say they have little sleep.

That is why, if you sleep a little and think it will be nice because you may have the genetic mutation, it is more likely that it is not so and you need more hours of rest.

4. Bone bones

This advantage seems to come from a superhero comic book. The character could be called "the man or woman with strong bones".

Most of our skeletons lose density and bone mass as we grow older. It is known as osteoporosis and can cause bone fractures and deformities.

But there are some people who have a mutation in a gene called SOST, which controls the protein, which regulates and controls bone growth.

A study conducted by research and development scientists at Chiroscience in Bothell, Washington, found that those who have this mutation do not lose bone mass as they grow older.

Their bones continue to accumulate density and mass over time, giving them the skeleton of a much younger person.

This mutation was found in some people from Afrikaner, as the Dutch-born populations living in South Africa are known.

Now scientists are looking for ways to copy this mutation to allow other people to reverse the aging of their skeletons.

5. Adjustment to heights

The Andean communities call "sorrow" and anyone who has suffered it will not forget it easily. It is the discomfort that is felt at great altitudes by the lack of oxygen.

This disease in height or mountain illness usually causes dizziness, low pressure, headache and respiratory disorders.

There are many tricks that are recommended to avoid: move slowly, eat a little, do not make a lot of effort, chew coca. Some people resort to drugs. But the truth is that even so many fall "apunados".

However, it is not a problem that affects the people living in the mountains.

Studies conducted on Quechua of the Andes and Tibetans of the Himalayas have shown that they have genetic advantages that have allowed them to adapt to their environment.

Their corsets are larger and have greater lung capacity, allowing them to incorporate more oxygen with every inspiration.

And while most people produce more red blood cells when their body receives little oxygen, they produce less.

These features are retained even when these populations move to lower points as they are part of their genes.

Perhaps this mutation does not officially make them "superheroes" but more than a tourist struggling to climb a mountain with the pace of an ant and is overtaken by a running part – sometimes carrying several bags – certainly believes he has superpowers.

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