A Molecular Record of Cannibalism


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This is pretty cool, in Science an article was published which describes a human polymorphism which protects us from the disease Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and/or Kuru which are both caused by eating brains contaminated with a certain kind of protein, prions.

A selection for this polymorphism would be achieved by a history of cannibalism in an population. This polymorphism seems to have recorded our canibalistic history.

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/vol300/issue5619/twis.shtml#300/5619/545a [Broken] for a short description
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/300/5619/640 for the abstract which will take you to the article if you have access.
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they have an interesting theory

What I asking myself is how they came up that the prion may play a role in the immunity against common conventional disease.

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