Augustine Kong and colleagues report, in the February issue of Nature Genetics, evidence for natural selection acting on the human genome. The Icelandic study found that one orientation of a particular chromosome segment, which is rare in much of the world, has reached a frequency of 20% in some European populations. The authors find that this variant, called a chromosome inversion, is still undergoing positive selection in Icelandic pedigrees and conclude that it has a positive effect on fertility. While the effect is modest - Icelandic people with the variant have 3.2% more children per generation - it is large enough to have profound consequences on an evolutionary timescale.
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