Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Significance of milk in development of culture to be studied

05.09.2008
The capacity to drink and tolerate milk may have been of tremendous importance for the cultural development of Europe. In a major EU project, being launched today and coordinated by Uppsala University in Sweden, researchers will now study when and where this capacity emerged and what it entailed.

Lactose tolerance, which provides the ability to drink milk as an adult, varies across countries. In Scandinavia, excluding Finland, it is widely disseminated. Most of us tolerate dairy products without any problems. The question of just where this ability arose and how it spread has spawned various theories.

By gathering 15 research teams with different specializations in genetics, organic chemistry, and archeology, it will hopefully now be possible to find out what the truth really is.

“The oldest pottery shards shown to contain milk were found in southeastern Europe, more precisely in what today is northeastern Greece. We believe that the mutation once grew common there and then became fundamental to the development of agrarian culture,” says Anders Götherstam, who will be coordinating the project.

The researchers will follow the tracks of milk throughout Europe, making use of a model for the spread of genes in order to follow the dissemination of the mutation. In this model the frequency of the mutation increases along the ‘frontline’ of the dissemination¬-that is, we in Scandinavia, on the periphery, should thus have the highest frequency of the specific gene.

“Mutations can be selected negatively or positively throughout evolution and history. But no other mutation seems to have had so positive a selection in the last ten thousand years as the one that creates lactose tolerance.”

The project, which is starting this week and involves 13 universities in Europe, is receiving €3.3 million for four years, which will also fund educational efforts. The other research teams come from Stockholm, the UK, Ireland, The Netherlands, Germany, France, and Denmark. A kick-off conference will take place in York on September 13–15.

“This funding will tie these research teams tightly together, which will result in lots of new research and new interpretations,” says Anders Götherstam.

Anneli Waara | alfa
Further information:
http://www.uu.se

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cells communicate in a dynamic code
19.02.2018 | California Institute of Technology

nachricht Studying mitosis' structure to understand the inside of cancer cells
19.02.2018 | Biophysical Society

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Contacting the molecular world through graphene nanoribbons

19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

When Proteins Shake Hands

19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

Cells communicate in a dynamic code

19.02.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>