Regional DNA differences may be due to climate
WASHINGTON — You are where you live, scientists who study genetic variations among people from different geographic regions are finding. For example, people who live in locations that get lots of solar radiation are more likely to have a sweat gland gene variant that may help them cool off more efficiently, geneticist Anna Di Rienzo of the University of Chicago reported February 19 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Humans have settled across the globe, contending with vastly different landscapes, heat, UV radiation levels, food types and pathogens. By sorting through loads of genetic data from around the globe, Di Rienzo and her colleagues found that one version of a gene that produces a protein found in sweat glands is more common among people living in hot, sunny locales.
All sorts of things can influence the genome, says Peter Zimmerman of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland: “It