Humans evolved to be taller and smarter

Parents with diverse genetic backgrounds tend to have smarter and taller children

July 02, 2015

People have evolved to be smarter and taller than their predecessors, a study of populations around the world suggests. Those who are born to parents from diverse genetic backgrounds tend to be taller and have sharper thinking skills than others, the major international study has found. Researchers analysed 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, whereby BASE-II participants were also included. The results of the study were published in the science magazine "Nature".

The team 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.

However, genetic diversity had no effect on factors such as high blood pressure or cholesterol levels, which affect a person’s chances of developing heart disease, diabetes and other complex conditions.

Read more about the study in the press release of the University of Edinburgh

The BASE-II scientists Lars Bertram (University of Lübeck, Germany), Ulman Lindenberger, Tian Liu (Max Planck Institute of Human Development), and Ilja Demuth (Charité Berlin) were involved in the study.

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