General, Research, Technology

Evidence found that man domesticated himself

Pets are known to look moreattractive than wild. But can you say the same thing about people? Researchers believe that the answer to this question lies in the mutation of certain genes. The results of a recent study showed that the attractiveness of domestic animals and human faces, as we know them, became such as a result of a genetic mutation. Some scientists believe that representatives of our species successfully domesticated not only animals, but also themselves. According to this hypothesis, the domestication of man has occurred over many generations. As a result, the aggressive representatives of Homo Sapiens succumbed to friendly and cooperative people. It is not surprising that such behavior led to other genetic changes, as a result of which people, like other domesticated animals, began to differ greatly from their ancestors.

Scientists believe they have found evidence that people have not only domesticated cows, dogs, and cats

How did the domestication of Homo sapiens occur?

During the domestication of animals, people adhered tomore or less uniform requirements and all animals changed in a similar way. Large individuals became smaller, the differences between the sexes were smoothed out, the color changed and “childish” signs like hanging ears remained. Changes did not bypass the nervous system: animals became more obedient and less aggressive. However, subsequently, researchers found that wild species resembled domesticated ones in appearance and behavior. So, bonobo monkeys today are more like domesticated chimpanzees - they are less aggressive and peaceful, and puberty takes longer. But could the same thing happen to people?

In 2018, researchers from BarcelonaUniversity published a work according to which the genes responsible for domestication of a person were discovered. During the study, a team of scientists compared the genes of Homo Sapiens, Neanderthals and Denisovans. So a list of genes was compiled that were differently represented in us and our ancestors. Similar lists were later compiled for cows, bison, dogs and wolves.

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On the left is the skull of Homo Sapiens, and on the right is the Neanderthal skull

In the course of work on a study thatpublished in the journal PLOS One, experts found similarities between changes in certain genes in both animals and humans. To verify the reliability of the results, the scientists compared the “domesticated” genes of cows and dogs with the genes of orangutans, gorillas and chimpanzees. It turned out that today some variants of “domesticated” genes are found in almost every person, while they were not found, or distributed in the DNA of Neanderthals and Denisovans. These same genes are responsible for the change in human faces during evolution. In general, the researchers concluded that they were able to find evidence of domestication of man. The authors of the work also argue that the results are consistent with theories of how, in the course of evolution, people and pets became more friendly. However, for the hypothesis of domestication of a person to turn into a theory, more research is needed. However, despite criticism of the published work, thanks to the results, scientists know what genetic features in the future need to be addressed.