Our epigenome is influenced by our habitat and lifestyle -- ScienceDaily

"Research on the genomes of Pygmy hunter-gatherer populations and Bantu farmers in Central Africa, carried out by scientists from the Institut Pasteur and the CNRS in cooperation with French and international teams(1), has shown for the first time that our habitat and lifestyle can have an impact on our epigenome -- the entire system that controls the expression of our genes without affecting their sequence. In this study, the scientists have shown that moving from a forest habitat to an urban environment has a profound impact on the epigenetic patterns of the immune response. Conversely, the different historical lifestyles of these populations -- sedentary farming or nomadic hunting and gathering -- are likely to affect more lasting functions, such as those associated with development, by modulating their genetic control via natural selection. This study is being published in the journal Nature Communications on November 30, 2015."

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