Transition to agriculture in Europe had negative consequences for human health

(ORDO NEWS) — A joint study of genetics and skeletal remains suggests that the transition from hunting, gathering and foraging to agriculture around 12,000 years ago in Europe may have had negative health effects, as evidenced by the lower-than-expected height of the earliest farmers, according to an international report. group of researchers. The study was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“Recent studies have attempted to characterize the contribution of DNA to growth. says Stephanie Marciniak, assistant professor of research at the University of Pennsylvania.

“We began to think about long-standing questions about the transition from hunting, gathering and foraging to settled agriculture and decided to consider the effect of altitude on health as a proxy.”

Scientists have studied the height of people who lived before the Neolithic, as well as in the Neolithic, Copper, Bronze and Iron Ages. The researchers measured the long bones of the skeletal remains, which were also selected for ancient DNA analysis by other researchers.

Transition to agriculture in Europe had negative consequences for human health 3

The researchers created a model that used adult height, stress markers seen in bones, and ancient DNA. Genetic traits of origin were considered.

The researchers studied 167 people who lived between 38,000 and 2,400 years ago. Among them were people before the advent of agriculture, the earliest cultivators and subsequent cultivators.

They found that Neolithic people, given their genetic potential height, were on average 1.5 inches shorter than previous people and 0.87 inches shorter than subsequent people.

They also found that the height steadily increased compared to Neolithic individuals: copper 0.77 inches, bronze 1.06 inches, and iron 1.29 inches.

“We now know that 80% of growth comes from genetic make-up and 20% from the environment.” researchers share.

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