Evolution is Favoring Shorter, Heavier Women, Study Says
November 2, 2009 2:50 PM
comment(s) - last by
Study predicts that in 400 years average woman will weigh nearly 1 kg more, be 2 cm (almost an inch) shorter
A strong body of evidence exists that humans are continually evolving a
in response to various environmental influences. Despite skepticism from some who blindly reject such studies for various dogmatic reasons, human evolution
does appear to be happening
. And researchers in the fields of genetics and evolutionary biology are revealing exciting insights into what man (and woman) may look like in the future.
from Yale University researchers offers some intriguing and unusual conclusions about where human evolution may be headed. A new study analyzing a population of 14,000 residents of the Massachusetts town of Framingham indicates that women are being naturally selected to be shorter and chubbier, have children younger, and have lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
The complex study came to these conclusions by looking at the medical records of 2,238 female participants, spread across two generations (starting in 1948) and looking at their medical history when they reached menopause. The study examined those that successfully reproduced and looked at what traits influenced their reproductive success. It also made adjustments for income, education and lifestyle choices such as smoking, before applying correlations to determine the direction of evolution. They also looked at secondary effects, i.e. whether low blood pressure led to younger sexual maturity, or whether the paths were independent.
Based on the results women in the third generation of the study, currently ongoing, are expected to begin their first period a month earlier, and enter menopause a full month later than their mothers and grandmothers, on average. Heaviness proved to be also be selected, as heavier women have more children, on average.
Professor Stephen Stearns, an evolutionary biologist at Yale University and coauthor of the study states, "The idea that natural selection has stopped operating in humans because we have gotten better at keeping people alive is just plain wrong. It's interesting that the underlying biological framework is still detectable beneath the culture."
The Yale experts predict that based on the current trends, in the year 2409AD, the average woman in Framingham will be 2 cm (almost 1 inch) shorter and 1 kg heavier (approximately 2.5 lb). Women in 2409 AD are predicted to have their period 5 months earlier and to go into menopause 10 months later -- almost a full year later.
Sean G. Byars, a post-doctoral researcher at Yale, was lead author of the paper, and researchers from University of Pennsylvania and the Boston University School of Medicine also contributed to it. The intriguing study was funded by Yale University and
in a prestigious journal -- the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences -- on October 19.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
11/2/2009 7:15:27 PM
You mean a planet with high enough gravity... :/
11/5/2009 12:31:47 PM
Not sure why I got rated down because if you have a low enough gravity, it means that if you weighed that much on that planet then came to Earth, you'd weigh even more so you'd be fat obviously. However, take what you weigh right now--if you are skinny--and go to Jupiter (if it had a solid surface). You would weigh a heck of a lot more and yet still have the same physical appearance. Weight = mass * gravity, folks!
"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton
Mutant Gene Causes People to Need Less Shut-Eye
August 17, 2009, 8:22 AM
Life in the Fast-lane: Human Evolution Accelerating
December 12, 2007, 3:18 PM
Star Wars Spinoff Film "Rogue One", Theme Park Attractions Announced
August 17, 2015, 12:20 PM
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Researchers Hope to Find "Exotic" Lifeforms Inside Crater of Dinosaur Killing Meteor
April 14, 2015, 8:47 PM
Mathematician's Sociological Formulation May Explain the "Hipster Paradox"
April 14, 2015, 1:13 PM
Most Popular Articles
Future of Lumia Uncertain as Microsoft Lays Off 2,300, Closes 1 of 3 Finnish Offices
August 24, 2015, 6:14 PM
Kentucky Man Faces up to 10 Years in Prison for Shooting Drone Trespasser
August 13, 2015, 2:58 PM
Microsoft's Windows 10 Leaves Lumia 530 Behind w/ 8 GB Storage Requirement
August 25, 2015, 4:02 PM
Aluminum 7003, Used in Roofing, May be Tapped by Apple for iPhone 6S/6S+
August 24, 2015, 4:45 PM
Samsung Gear S2 Borrows Circular Icons From Apple Watch
August 21, 2015, 2:48 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information