Bump in Genetic Mutations

This is the dawning of a new era in our genetic makeup. A recent report published in Nature magazine warns of the sudden rush of mutations amongst us, with the majority of the mutations occurring in the last 5,000 years.

The study sequenced the genes of 6,500 Americans of African and European descent, identifying rare genetic variations. Noteworthy genetic mutations include the lightening of skin pigment to adjust to the lack of sunlight, which occurred to Africans that migrated into Europe.

The article states: "The recent dramatic increase in human population size, resulting in a deluge of rare functionally important variation, has important implications for understanding and predicting current and future patterns of human disease and evolution."

You would think that genetic mutation would serve as an enhancement, yet it proves to be more of a weakness. Dr. Suzanne Leal, professor of molecular and human genetics says, "One of the most interesting points is that Europeans have more new deleterious mutations than Africans." As life expectancies continue to expand, the likelihood of eradicating the bad mutations is slowing down.

Still, we steadily work our way to superhuman status one mutation at a time.

The subject of human mutations evokes images of people around the world suddenly emerging with the characteristics of other species à la Jeff Goldblum in The Fly. It would be a sort of interspecies morphing of super heightened mega earthling. Naturally, they will serve the greater good of humanity when a reptilian invasion comes into fruition. It could happen. 

Image by Derek Keats, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.