Using paleogenomics to elucidate 10,000 years of immune system evolution

Scientists have used paleogenomics to trace 10,000 years of human immune system evolution. They analyzed the genomes of more than 2,800 individuals who lived in Europe over the past ten millennia. They were able to date the increase in frequency of most of the mutations that are advantageous in defending against pathogens to after the Bronze Age, 4,500 years ago. The scientists also observed that mutations conferring a higher risk of developing inflammatory disorders have become more frequent over the past 10,000 years.

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