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Human Biology

Mirna Isabel Ochoa-Lugo, María de Lourdes Muñoz, Gerardo Pérez-Ramírez, Kristine G Beaty, Mauro López-Armenta, Javiera Cervini-Silva, Miguel Moreno-Galeana, Adrián Martínez Meza, Eduardo Ramos, Michael H Crawford, Arturo Romano-Pacheco
Maya civilization developed in Mesoamerica and encompassed the Yucatan Peninsula, Guatemala, Belize, part of the Mexican states of Tabasco and Chiapas, and the western parts of Honduras and El Salvador. This civilization persisted approximately 3,000 years and was one of the most advanced of its time, possessing the only known full writing system at the time, as well as art, sophisticated architecture, and mathematical and astronomical systems. This civilization reached the apex of its power and influence during the Preclassic period, from 2000 BCE to 250 CE...
April 2016: Human Biology
Fabiana L Lopes, Liping Hou, Angelica B W Boldt, Layla Kassem, Veronica M Alves, Antonio E Nardi, Francis J McMahon
Large-scale genotyping and next-generation sequencing techniques have allowed great advances in the field of molecular genetics. Numerous common variants of low impact have been associated with many complex human traits and diseases, such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Although they may exert a greater impact on risk, few rare disease variants have been found, owing to the greatly increased sample sizes that are typically necessary to demonstrate association with rarer variants. One alternative strategy is to study isolated populations, where historical bottlenecks reduce genetic diversity and some otherwise rare variants may drift to higher frequencies...
April 2016: Human Biology
Michael H Crawford
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
April 2016: Human Biology
Kristine G Beaty, M J Mosher, Michael H Crawford, Phillip Melton
Over the last 35 years, researchers from the Laboratory of Biological Anthropology at the University of Kansas have been working with Mennonite communities to better understand evolutionary patterns of fission-fusion in relationship to their genetic history and population structure. In this study, short tandem repeat (STR) markers from the nonrecombining region of the Y chromosome (NRY) provided increased resolution of the molecular population structure for these groups. NRY is known to be informative for determining paternal genetic ancestral patterns in recently derived human populations...
April 2016: Human Biology
M J Mosher, P E Melton, P Stapleton, M S Schanfield, M H Crawford
DNA methylation is the most widely studied of epigenetic mechanisms, with environmental effects recorded through patterned attachments of methyl groups along the DNA that are capable of modifying gene expression without altering the DNA sequencing. The degree to which these patterns of DNA methylation are heritable, the expected range of normality across populations, and the phenotypic relevance of pattern variation remain unclear. Genes regulating metabolic pathways appear to be vulnerable to ongoing nutritional programming over the life course, as dietary nutrients are significant environmental determinants of DNA methylation, supplying both the methyl groups and energy to generate the methylation process...
April 2016: Human Biology
(no author information available yet)
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
April 2016: Human Biology
Norberto F Baldi, Michael H Crawford
The Rama are a coastal population from southern Nicaragua who in large part were able to resist, at least for a time, the cultural changes and social reorganization brought on by colonial and modern influences. Historical information leaves the Rama origins and biological relationships with nearby extinct and extant groups ambiguous. The objective of this study was to examine the internal genetic microdifferentiation based on the first hypervariable region of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from a sample of approximately 20% of the population, and to expand the few available historical and anthropological data on the Rama by exploring the effects of cultural practices and historical events on genetic structure, providing an integrative perspective on the Rama genetic history...
April 2016: Human Biology
(no author information available yet)
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
January 2016: Human Biology
Katherine Spradley, Kyra E Stull, Joseph T Hefner
Research by economists suggests that recent Mexican migrants are better educated and have higher socioeconomic status (SES) than previous migrants. Because factors associated with higher SES and improved education can lead to positive secular changes in overall body form, secular changes in the craniofacial complex were analyzed within a recent migrant group from Mexico. The Mexican group represents individuals in the act of migration, not yet influenced by the American environment, and thus can serve as a starting point for future studies of secular change in this population group...
January 2016: Human Biology
Sandra Cridlin
Osteometric measurements of the femur are consistently used to estimate stature, sex, and race in constructing demographic profiles. The presence of positive or negative changes in the size of the maximum vertical diameter of the femoral head could potentially affect the validity of such profiles. Additionally, changes in femoral head size may be an indicator of the socioeconomic status, health, and nutrition of a population over periods of time. Two large data sets consisting of white male and white female femoral vertical head diameter measurements with birth years spanning 1841-1990 are used in this study...
January 2016: Human Biology
Daniel J Wescott, Lauren Rockhold Zephro
Over the past two centuries there have been documented secular changes in stature, weight, body proportions, and skeletal maturation rates in the United States. These changes along with a more sedentary lifestyle are likely reflected in femur morphology. Here we examine secular changes in diaphyseal cross-sectional size, shape, area, robusticity, and rigidity at midshaft and subtrochanteric of the femur using 395 adult white females and males from the United States born between the 1850s and the 1970s. The effect of secular change was controlled for an age effect...
January 2016: Human Biology
Natalie R Langley, Richard L Jantz, Stephen D Ousley
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
January 2016: Human Biology
Richard L Jantz, Lee Meadows Jantz, Joanne L Devlin
Secular change in height has been extensively investigated, but size and shape of the postcranial skeleton much less so. The availability of large, documented collections of nineteenth- and twentieth-century skeletons makes it possible to examine changes in skeletal structure over the past 150 years. We examined secular changes in long bone lengths and proportions, their allometric relationship to stature, and crosssectional properties of long bone shafts. Bone measurements and stature were organized into 10-year birth cohorts, ranging from 1840 to 1989...
January 2016: Human Biology
Natalie R Langley, Sandra Cridlin
Secular changes refer to short-term biological changes ostensibly due to environmental factors. Two well-documented secular trends in many populations are earlier age of menarche and increasing stature. This study synthesizes data on maximum clavicle length and fusion of the medial epiphysis in 1840-1980 American birth cohorts to provide a comprehensive assessment of developmental and morphological change in the clavicle. Clavicles from the Hamann-Todd Human Osteological Collection (n = 354), McKern and Stewart Korean War males (n = 341), Forensic Anthropology Data Bank (n = 1,239), and the McCormick Clavicle Collection (n = 1,137) were used in the analysis...
January 2016: Human Biology
Richard L Jantz, Lee Meadows Jantz
Secular changes in stature, weight, or other components of the body that can be obtained from historical records have been extensively studied. Cranial change has been central to anthropology for more than a century, but the focus has normally been on change measured in centuries or millennia. Cranial change measured in decades, normally considered to result from plastic response to the environment, has been less studied. This article reports on change in cranial vault dimensions in white Americans. Variables were glabello-occipital length (GOL), basion-bregma height (BBH), basion-nasion length (BNL), maximum cranial breadth (XCB), and biauricular breadth (AUB)...
January 2016: Human Biology
Katherine E Weisensee, Richard L Jantz
This research examines the pattern of secular change in the cranial morphology of two populations experiencing the epidemiological transition associated with decreased mortality rates in children, followed by declines in infant mortality and subsequent increases in adult longevity. The two samples examined in this study come from US and Portuguese individuals. The epidemiological transition occurred at different times in the United States and Portugal, with Portugal entering into the transition later than the United States...
January 2016: Human Biology
Abigail W Bigham, Amy Non
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 2015: Human Biology
Jada Benn Torres, Gabriel A Torres Colón
The study of human variation is central to both social and biomedical sciences, but social and biomedical scientists diverge in how variation is theorized and operationalized. Race is especially problematic because it is a cultural concept that contains implicit and explicit understandings of how collective bodies differ. In this article, we propose an operationalization of race that addresses both racial experience and human biological diversity, placing them within the same ontological sphere. Furthermore, this approach can more effectively advance antiracist pedagogy and politics...
October 2015: Human Biology
Alyssa C Bader, Ripan S Malhi
Understanding the complexities of ancestry-related identity is a necessary component of ethically sound research related to the genetic ancestry of modern-day communities. This is especially true when working with indigenous populations, given the legal and social implications that genetic ancestry interpretations may have in these communities. This study employs a multicomponent approach to explore the intricacies of ancestry-related identity within one extended family with members who identify as Alaskan Native...
October 2015: Human Biology
Michael D Edge, Noah A Rosenberg
Models that examine genetic differences between populations alongside a genotype-phenotype map can provide insight about phenotypic variation among groups. We generalize a simple model of a completely heritable, additive, selectively neutral quantitative trait to examine the relationship between single-locus genetic differentiation and phenotypic differentiation on quantitative traits. In agreement with similar efforts using different models, we show that the expected degree to which two groups differ on a neutral quantitative trait is not strongly affected by the number of genetic loci that influence the trait: neutral trait differences are expected to have a magnitude comparable to the genetic differences at a single neutral locus...
October 2015: Human Biology
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