[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 15-Feb-2009
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Contact: Karen Kreeger
karen.kreeger@uphs.upenn.edu
215-349-5658
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Penn genetics researcher presents on evolutionary history of modern humans in Africa

CHICAGO – Sarah A. Tishkoff, PhD, David and Lyn Silfen University Associate Professor, will present "Evolutionary History of Modern Humans in Africa," at the 2009 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Chicago, as a part of the Sunday, February 15th session, "Studying Vertebrate Genomes: Reading Evolution's Notebooks."

In honor of Darwin's 200th birthday on February 12, Tishkoff's talk will focus on the process of evolution due to natural selection using examples from recent human evolution: the independent origin of lactose tolerance in east African pastoralists and the role that malaria and other infectious diseases play in shaping genetic variation in the human genome, with an emphasis on African populations.

"What I plan to address is a question that I get from reporters all the time: Are humans still evolving," says Tishkoff. "The answer is: Yes!"

Tishkoff works primarily in Africa, where she has compiled the world's most extensive DNA database, representing more than 7000 Africans from more than 100 ethnic groups. Her research examines how genetic variations and genetic diversity can affect a wide range of practical issues–for example, differences in human susceptibility to disease, metabolism of drugs, and evolutionary adaptation.

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Session information:
Studying Vertebrate Genomes: Reading Evolution's Notebooks
Sunday Feb 15, 2009 8:30-10:00am
Hyatt Regency Chicago Regency D



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