The rainforest is one of the harshest environments to live in due to high temperatures and humidity, as well as the abundance of parasites and other pathogens. The populations that live in these areas tend to have a short life expectancy, a characteristic that directly influences their reproductive success and survival, and the one that has been suggested could have favored a faster sexual development in pygmy populations to reproduce – and consequently stop growing – sooner. But these are not the only adaptive disturbances. Human beings are the only mammals that continue to eat animal milk during adult life because we are capable of breaking down lactose molecules and taking advantage of nutrients, especially fats. This trait emerged 5,000 years ago and was preserved because it represented a very large selective advantage, such as in situations of food shortage.
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The IBE joins Biocat and La Caixa once Mexico Email List again in the B · Debate initiative, cycles of cutting-edge scientific debates between international experts on specific topics. The B · Debate events aim to promote debate, collaboration and the open exchange of knowledge between experts of recognized national and international prestige to face complex challenges of high interest for the life sciences.probably due to the strong biological restrictions imposed by extreme ecosystems that are poor in nutrients. The fact that, in addition, this convergence is accompanied by a parallel evolution in digestive enzymes, makes this system a very interesting example from the point of view of the study of the evolutionary process. ‘Examples of parallel evolution on a molecular scale are not very common. For this reason, they are of the greatest interest in genetics,
because they help us to know which evolutionary mechanisms are most important for the diversification and adaptation of living beings ”, points out Sánchez Gracia. The evolutionary journey of plants towards the carnivorous diet What molecular strategies have carnivorous plants deployed as an adaptive evolutionary response? In the evolutionary journey of plants towards the carnivorous diet, it is not always necessary for new genes to appear: some already present in the plant genome have adapted to new biological functions, a process known as cooption. As Pablo Librado points out, “at work, we have found that genes originally involved in the defense against certain diseases – or in the response to biotic and abiotic stress – have acquired new functions (cooption) related to the ability to digest animals”. This is the case, for example, “of a very specific