Microevolution shown in humans retaining median artery

Date:15 October 2020 Author: Leila Stein

Humans may wish they could evolve at a rapid pace to gain extra unique abilities but often this is a more gradual process which include micro changes we can barely see.

One of these small changes is the retainment of the median artery in the forearm of adults. The median artery is the main artery that supplies blood to the forearm and hand. It is formed in the womb and over the years disappears as you grow up.

A recent investigation by Dr. Teghan Lucas at Flinders University and Professor Maciej Henneberg and Dr. Jaliya Kumaratilake at the University of Adelaide has found that due to microevolution, one in three adults are now keeping this artery along with the other two in the arm.

“Since the 18th century, anatomists have been studying the prevalence of this artery in adults and our study shows it’s clearly increasing. The prevalence was around 10% in people born in the mid-1880s compared to 30% in those born in the late 20th century, so that’s a significant increase in a fairly short period of time, when it comes to evolution,” Lucas told Phys.Org.

“This increase could have resulted from mutations of genes involved in median artery development or health problems in mothers during pregnancy, or both actually. If this trend continues, a majority of people will have median artery of the forearm by 2100.”

Picture: @UNMC_DrKhan/Twitter

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