Gene variant points to starvation's evolutionary legacy

Published September 28, 2021

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The Scientist quoted Omer Gokcumen, associate professor of biological sciences, in a story on a study he conducted with colleagues at UB and other institutions. The research finds that the GHRd3 variant of the growth hormone receptor gene, also seen in Denisovans and Neanderthals, may have helped humanity's ancestors survive periods without food. The variant "may be helpful, for males especially, to survive under resource-restricted conditions,” Gokcumen said. The project was led by Gokcumen; Xiuqian Mu, associate professor of ophthalmology in the Jacobs School and the Ross Eye Institute; Skyler Resendez, a postdoctoral fellow in biomedical informatics in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB; and Marie Saitou, a tenure-track investigator at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and a former postdoctoral researcher in Gokcumen’s lab at UB.

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