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ETD 53 A. Why do humans show so much variation as a species? B. What have BioGeeks learned from Prostitutes in Nairobi?
February 26, 2014 at 11:37am


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Sophie Wulfing
March 16, 2014 at 10:41pm

Original Homo Sapiens who came from the Nile, traveled to many different environments where there were ifferent selection factors.  So there was a lot of regional variation, and so the reason for each of our traits result from the selective factors of our ancestors.  Examples of this are skin color, loss of fur, people from Africa tend to have longer limbs, believed to shed heat better.  People with darker skin have blood vessels close to their skin.  Homo Sapiens that traveled to Europe interbred with Neanderthals.

Prostitutes in Nairobi are beginning to show signs of HIV immunity, which suggests that we continue to evolve

Sophie- I learned that the reason people from East Africa are taller because of the advantages found from having long limbs, which include a more efficient way of shedding heat. Also, That the reason that Chinese people have tan skin and thin eyes is that they were invaded by the Tibetans and Mongolians, who lived up in the mountains were they experianced a lot of uv radiation

Madison Boggan
February 11, 2015 at 4:35pm

Parent: Humans are so different because we have the brain capacity to live in places all over the world. The globe contains so many diverse environments so humans in these different places develop different traits since they are faced with different selective factors. For example, a human in a place on the equator will need darker skin to protect from the sun but a person in a place that doesn't get much sun is best off having lighter skin to be able to absorb more of the sun's UV. 

Prostitutes in Nairobi are teaching scientists that some people don't get HIV because they don't have a receptor for it. This is proof that humans are still evolving. 

Student: While explaining this to my mom, it was awesome to see the light bulb click for her in regards to the fact that people are different and this is SPECIAL because it means that their ancestors were well suited to where they lived. Having different, unique traits is special and not bad. This makes sense when you connect that different phenotypes stem from peoples' ancestors having adapted to the circumstances of their environment. 

Madison Neyers
April 12, 2015 at 8:13pm

Parent: I thought it was interesting how Madison explained the different environments select the adaptions and traits of people. It started to make more and more sense as she brought up specific examples of the adaptions to the selective factors of environment as well as mates. One example was how men in african tribes that jump higher get more wives and therefore produce more offspring that can jump higher, creating an adaption to be taller.

Student: I really enjoyed explainign this to my mom because I love knowing that all humans are related and that no one hair, skin, or eye color or shapes are better than another. I was really curious as to why there were so many different human characteristics but it makes sense finally realting it to environmental factors. The prostitutes in Naorobi are proof of evolution occurring now because these women are not obtaining HIV.

Amber Neathery
February 24, 2016 at 6:15pm

Student: I explained that humans show more variation than many other species because we live in almost all parts of the world. Regional variety results in different selective factors; these, in turn, yield a unique path of evolution for each population of humans. Thus, people have the characteristics that they do because they benefitted the survival and reproduction of their ancestors. From prostitutes in Nairobi, “bio geeks” have learned that past selective factors can serve as a current advantage: the gene which codes for bubonic plague resistance also provides HIV resistance by changing the shape of the receptor that the virus attaches to.

Parent: if you are resistant to bubonic plague then you cannot get aids. it was interesting that humans are one species but beetles are not.

Zach Holtz
February 12, 2020 at 8:01pm

Student:   It was nice to go over how we, as humans, are a global species.  Our scientific name is Homosapien which stands for wise man.  The reason why we have so many variations in our species is by the many different environments.  Due to having different environments, people need to evolve to be able to survive.  Each environment started to form different human phenotypes that made survival easier in that area.  And when it comes to prostitutes, some of them are HIV resistant.  The reason for this is because some of the females were HIV resistant and only by natural selection, over the generations, the resistant gene dominated over the non-resistant gene.

Parent:   Humans are global species, meaning they live in many different environments, with many different phenotypes.  The populations evolve with regional variation, this actually increases survival.  Natural selection occurred in prostitutes due to some having HIV resistance (born with it).  Those who were not HIV resistant slowly died off and those who were resistant started gaining in numbers.  This is similar to the Bubonic plague because the plaque is a strain of HIV and those who survived the plague back in the day were HIV resistant and their descendants also had the HIV resistant gene.

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