Study Shows Culture could shape our DNA

A UC San Francisco-led study has identified signatures of ethnicity in the genome that appear to reflect an ethnic group’s shared culture and environment, rather than their common genetic ancestry. The study examined DNA methylation—an “annotation” of DNA that alters gene expression without changing the genomic sequence itself—in a group of diverse Latino children. The researchers identified several hundred differences in methylation associated with either Mexican or Puerto Rican ethnicity, but discovered that only three-quarters of the epigenetic difference between the two ethnic subgroups could be accounted for by differences in the children’s genetic ancestry.

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