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Five genetic advantages that very few people have [Ciencia] – 18.11.2013



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London.- Science fiction is filled with superheroes who have supernatural gifts. But the truth is that some ordinary people have special powers and often do not know.

These are the genetic benefits of a very small proportion of the population.

These benefits are due to genetic mutation, the natural process that changes our DNA.

As some inherit genetic diseases, others have more happiness and inherit genes that give them unusual abilities.

BBC Mundo gives us five examples of some of the benefits that you could have thanks to your genome.

1. Perfect underwater vision

Most of us see everything blurry if we open our eyes when we are immersed in water.

This is because of problems in physics: the density of water is similar to that which occurs in the fluid for the eyes and refractive light can not get into the eye.

Because of this, people usually only see good when we are in contact with the air.

But there is one exception: the Moken people, who inhabit the Andaman Sea, the Indian Ocean sector between Burma and Thailand.

This tribe is known as the "Gypsy Sea" because they spend most of the year in huts on the water or ships and just go to the ground to get stuck on the stocks.

If you have wet genes, you can see it crystal clear under water.

It is believed that this genetic mutation was due to the fact that Moken spends a lot of time underwater, collecting seafood and fishing on the land at the bottom of the sea.

A scientific study published in 2003 in the journal Current Biologi has found that the genetic mutation of the womb causes the eye to change its shape underwater.

This allows the light to be reflected when entering your eyes and allows you to clearly see, even sink more than 20 meters below the water.

2. Tolerance to cold

Another genetic advantage observed in some domestic people has to do with the ability to withstand low temperatures.

The human body has a normal temperature range ranging between 36.5 and 37.5 ℃. Therefore, most human beings are better prepared to deal with warm climates than cold climates.

The normal body can not withstand extreme cold. But there are some populations that have this capacity thanks to their particular genome.

Tribes such as the Inuit, inhabited by the Arctic or Nenet, living in the northern part of Russia, adhere to freezing temperatures.

Their bodies react differently to cold because they are biologically constituted differently than others.

For example, they do not shake from cold, have less sweaty glands, their skin is much warmer than normal and their metabolisms have a much higher rate.

These skills are purely genetic: if you move to the middle of the North Pole and live there for decades, you will not get the incredible abilities of people who carry these mutations.

3. Less sleep hours

One skill that you could have, without belonging to a tribe, is to work well with less sleep hours than usual.

Several studies have shown that most people have to sleep from 7 to 9 hours to feel the rest.

Sleeping less can cause problems of concentration and health, both physical and mental.

However, a study conducted with twins in 2014 led the American Academy of Sleeping Medicine to discover that there is a genetic mutation that allows some people to need less sleep hours.

People with mutated DEC2 gene have the ability to have more intensive REM sleep, which makes their rest more effective.

With 6 hours of sleep or less, you feel completely relaxed and ready to face the day.

However, experts explain that this mutation affects an extremely small percentage of people – less than 1% of those who report a little on sleep.

Therefore, if you sleep a little and think that you will be fine, because you may have a genetic mutation, it is more likely that this is not the case and you need more hours of rest.

4. Bone density

It looks like this advantage looks like superhero comics. This figure can be called "a man or woman with strong bones".

Most of our skeletons lose weight and bone while we grow old. It is known as osteoporosis and can cause fractures and bone defects.

But there are some people who have a mutation in the gene called SOST, which controls the protein sclerostin, which regulates and controls bone growth.

A study by researchers and researchers at Chiroscience, Bothell, Washington, found that those who have this mutation do not lose their bone fat until they get older.

Their bones continue to accumulate density and mass over time, giving them a skeleton of a much younger person.

This mutation has been found in some people of African descent because of the well-known Dutch-speaking populations living in South Africa.

Now scientists are looking for ways to replicate this mutation to allow other people to reverse the aging of their skeletons.

5. Adaptation to height

Andean communities call it soroche, and anyone who has suffered it will not easily forget. This is an inconvenience that is felt at high altitudes due to lack of oxygen.

This altitude or mountain disease usually causes dizziness, low pressure, headache and respiratory disturbances.

There are a lot of tricks that are advised to avoid this: slowly move, eat a little, do not invest big efforts, gnaw the coke. Some resort to medication. But the truth is that even many fall "apunados".

However, this is not a problem that affects the populations living in the mountains.

Studies conducted on the Kuechua Anđima and the Tibetan Himalayas have shown that they have genetic advantages that have enabled them to adapt to their environment.

Their torsos are larger and have a higher lung capacity, which allows them to include more oxygen with every inspiration.

And while most people produce more red blood cells when their body gets a bit of oxygen, they produce less.

These characteristics are maintained even when these populations move to a lower site, as they are part of their genes.

Perhaps this mutation officially does not make it "superheroes", but more than a tourist who is struggling for climbing at the speed of the ants and takes up a repetitive place – sometimes wearing several bags – surely believes they have supersiles.

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