Those who are born to parents from diverse genetic backgrounds tend to be faster-thinking and taller than others, a new study led by Dr Peter Joshi of the University of Edinburgh has found. Dr Joshi and co-authors analyzed health and genetic information from more than 100 studies carried out around the world. These included details on more than 350,000 people from urban and rural communities. They found that greater genetic diversity is linked to increased height. It is also associated with better cognitive skills, as well as higher levels of education.
The findings, published online July 1 in the journal Nature, suggest that over time, evolution is favoring people with increased stature and sharper thinking skills but does not impact on their propensity for developing a serious illness. “Our next step will be to hone in on the specific parts of the genome that most benefit from diversity,” Dr Joshi said.