Instructions

a) How can genome data be used to determine whether different human populations that have a similar adaptation (such as malaria resistance) have the same QTL?

b) Evolutionary biologists often say that evolution “selects for outcomes” not for the particular genetic changes that lead to that adaptive outcome. Given that perspective, is it surprising that different gene mutations might be involved in the evolution of the same trait (such as light skin or adaptation to living in high mountains)? Why or why not?

c) Recently, scientists have identified a mutation that is found at high frequency in Finnish populations, located in northern Europe where the winter is very cold. This mutation is believed to be a “cold sensitive” allele that warns people of extreme cold temperatures. Could this allele have undergone a “selective sweep”, if it had suddenly appeared in this northern population of humans? How would such a selective sweep be detected with genome data?

d) Unfortunately, this same “cold sensitive” mutation is also thought to lead to high frequencies of migraine headaches in populations with this mutation? Is it likely that the selection coefficient for the “cold sensitive” allele is different in the original Finnish population compared to people of Finnish ancestry who now live in Florida? Why or why not?

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