Jesus del Mazo, researcher at the Margarita Salas Center for Biological Studies.
“Yes we do not know our genetic pastwe will hardly understand ours Present and much less predict our future“. This clearly speaks in Medical writing Jesus of Mazospecialist in Margarita Salas Biological Research Center (CIB-CSIC), in connection with the findings of DNA from Neanderthals achieved by him researcher Svante Pjaaboto which it is granted Nobel Prize for Medicine. For leveling sanitarythe fact that we genetically know how we evolved allows, according to the researcher, “to understand many diseases of genetic origin. If we find genes associated with crabit could have been quickly discovered if the Neanderthals had it and analyzed it what consequences it might have and how to deal with it, as has already happened in other studied genes”.
The health implications that this discovery can convey are extremely important, according to the researcher, allowing to know and understand various situations that are difficult to understand without the knowledge of Neanderthal genetics: “The same group led by Pääbo studied a gene consisting of a progesterone receptor (PGR). It is an essential element for early embryonic stages and maintenance of the pregnancy process. If the Neanderthal genome and current populations are analyzed, the gene remained in a 20 percent of the population currently. Women with low levels of progesterone or the absence of this gene, which increases sensitivity to the hormone, are more likely to suffer from miscarriages, menstrual problems, etc.
This fact is possible because, according to the researcher, “ the transposition of the progesterone gene from Neanderthals to Sapiens occurred as a result of interbreeding between the two, favoring fertility in women carrying this Neanderthal-derived gene. Therefore, we discover the origin of a gene that is closely related to fertility, so at a therapeutic level it can be of great interest.
“At a therapeutic level, the origin of the fertility-related gene may be key”
Another discovery mentioned by the CSIC researcher is related to another gene typical of Denisovans, distantly related to Neanderthals and that they settled in Asia: “This particular gene activates the production of hemoglobin in areas with low oxygen levels. The Denisovans lived at a high altitude, as Tibet. This gene allowed them higher survival in high areas where oxygen levels are low and is still found among populations living in Tibet today. These Homo sapiens have the ability to produce hemoglobin more effective in low oxygen levels. Thanks to the Nobel Prize-winning discovery, it will be possible to discover the origin of many more genes, their function and pathogenesis, and potentially therapeutic research.
DNA storage processes in archaeological remains
On the other hand, to keep higher integrity on archaeological remains for further study, del Mazo cautions that “systems of conservation procedures must take into account genetic information that exists, and that it is very sensitive to radiation. Depending on how this procedure is performed, the DNA is affected and sometimes becomes impossible to sequence”.
“Understanding possible future therapies depends largely on knowing where we come from genetically”
Get to know her Homo neanderthal genetic lineage This allows, on a practical level, to know the genes that today continue to affect a large part of the population. “Understanding the current situation and possible future therapies depends to a large extent on knowing where we come from genetically,” recalls the CSIC researcher, who hopes to learn more about this in order to benefit from it in the face of various types of diseases. such as crab.
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