Anthropological Diversity Biological diversity is responsible for opening new vistas for evolutionary processes among living beings. Exploration of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) in the Human Genomes of different ethnic groups and individuals is paving the way to understanding the complexity of different human diseases as well as specific traits.
Recently a group of human geneticists under the leadership of Sarah Tishkoff of University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, US, conducted a study to unravel the mystery of Pygmy height, reported in Nature News, April 26, 2012 by Erika Check Hayden. This unique study has been able to put the needle of suspicion for Pygmy height on genes in a region of the chromosome number three. However, it must be mentioned here that these are just the preliminary clues and leads toward finding the genetic links to Pygmy height and are far from being conclusive and exhaustive. Racial admixture between Pygmy and Bantu groups has been reported and is widely accepted. The highlight of the above study is that the Pygmies who had a greater Bantu ancestry were relatively taller than those Pygmies who had less of it. SNPs identified for height in European populations, however, were not at all linked to height in the case of Pygmies. The discovery of this altogether different perspective on genetics of height in Pygmies vis-A-vis many other populations can serve as a springboard to understand the genetics of traits of human populations which are unique and betray any explanation.
Professor S. P. Singh, Ph.D.
Editor-in-Chief, Human Biology Review
Former Dean, Faculty of Life Sciences,
Punjabi University, Patiala, India