are mutations caused by selective pressure in the environment
- October 19, 2022
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The human genome has been sequenced, that’s the good news, and yet for some reason most of us are still at least somewhat ignorant of some of the important genetic mutations that have been discovered. You’ll find a lot more about that in the next section, but for now I want to talk about the most crucial mutations for humans, the ones that really make you who you are.
The biggest threat to the human race is not genetic mutation alone. It is environmental mutagens (or selective pressures) that can wipe out entire populations of our ancestors.
We are exposed to a large amount of mutagens (which makes us genetically distinct from our closest evolutionary cousins) because our environment is so toxic. For example, when you spend a lot of time in a hot, dry climate, you are exposed to a lot more natural radiation than when you are in a milder environment. Because of this, the genetic mutations we have are actually more diverse than the ones found in our closest evolutionary cousins.
This is called differential mutation. Differential mutation happens when a population of our ancestors is exposed to a stressor which causes their descendants to mutate in a different way from the changes that took place in them as a whole. This may cause a noticeable difference in appearance, such as the appearance of a population of people whose ancestors were all female and whose descendants now have the ability to reproduce by themselves.
Differential mutation has been found in populations of humans, primates, and birds. These differences are typically in the form of physical characteristics such as eyes, hair, bone structure, and skin, but it can also cause differences in behavior or genetics.
The most obvious example of this is the difference between the sexes. Females are the ones who produce the eggs that make up a family. Males, on the other hand, are the ones who take care of the family. Females can reproduce as many times as males, but they can only do so if they have the right sperm. So if a female has a change in the sperm, that means that she can’t produce offspring anymore.
It’s pretty clear that different mutations have different effects and that the effects are probably caused by selective pressure, so we should look for areas where it’s happening. Not so obvious is that it affects the same area in different ways, so that it’s possible to find areas of the body that are the same, but different to the rest of the body. For example, there is a difference in the hair of males and females, but the hair on the other hand is usually the same.
The hair is a good example. The hair on the male is usually shorter, and the hair on the female is usually longer. In the case of the bald and the hairy, the hair tends to be the same, but there is a slight difference in the hair on the head. So if you have a mutation where the hair on your head is the same as the rest of your body, it’s basically impossible to find areas that are different.
Another example is the hair color. The hair of males tends to be blonde, and the hair of females tends to be blue. The difference between the two colors is slight. Because there is no difference in the color of the hair on the male and female, you can usually spot areas of the hair on your head that are different. However, there are some areas where the difference is big. For example, the hair color and the size of the nose can vary.