Tibetans live high life thanks to extinct human relatives

Tibetans live high life thanks to extinct human relatives

Modern people’s DNA adaptation to altitude passed down from ancient Denisovans

By Tina Hesman Saey, 12:25 PM July 2, 2014

Tibetans inherited a genetic adaptation to high altitudes from an extinct group of human relatives called Denisovans, a new study finds.

Researchers have known for years that Tibetans carry a genetic variant in the EPAS1 gene that allows them to survive at extreme altitudes where oxygen is scarce. But how that variant arose has been mysterious. Now researchers report July 2 in Nature that the high-altitude version of EPAS1 almost certainly came from Denisovans or from a related group of extinc...

Source URL: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/tibetans-live-high-life-thanks-extinct-human-relatives?mode=topic&context=87