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Tibetans on fast lane of evolution

world Updated: Jul 03, 2010 00:25 IST
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Tibetans live at altitudes of 13,000 feet, breathing air that has 40 per cent less oxygen than is available at sea level, yet suffer very little mountain sickness. The reason, according to a team of biologists in China, is human evolution, in what may be the most recent and fastest instance detected so far.

Comparing the genomes of Tibetans and Han Chinese, the majority ethnic group in China, the biologists found that at least 30 genes had undergone evolutionary change in the Tibetans as they adapted to life on the high plateau.