Tibet has been in an out of the news the past five decades regarding its relationship with China. In this article post, the focus is on the people and how they adapted to the high altitudes of the Himalayas.
Small background Tibet
The population Tibet is close to 8 million people in a speak the language of Tibetic and apparently from recent studies from 2008 has described that they are close to 25 different groups of main dialects of Tibetic. Furthermore, these 25 dialects can be broken further down to 220 dialects. The main religion of the country is Tibetan Buddhism and has influence many of its architecture and art.
These locals of the Himalayan mountains have in their genes five different variants that helps them survive their harsh terrain. They have been doing so for many generations while living a healthy lifestyle.
They are able to live through the cold, strong direct UV lights, shortage of food and withstanding low oxygen levels. Experts looked at two specific genes from 27 Tibetans that they believe are very unique among the human population on the global scale.
One gene is the ability to live in high altitudes and the second one is the ability to cope with oxygen levels that are considered very low for the average population. Another important gene involves with the metabolism of vitamin D.
Looking at the ethnic diversity, researchers have found that the population of Tibetan locals and the Chinese of Han ancestry split around 50,000 years ago. There has been evidence of genetic sharing after the diverge between the two groups but only up until 7000 BCE. Depending on the sources, the time of divergence varies according to researchers, such as a 2016 study placing it at 15,000 years ago.
The goal of all this research is to find evidence of how humans adapt whether it is more genetic or more along the lines of the environmental factors. Right now it is safe to say that both come into play. Who knows, maybe some of the findings can be implemented in some health app in the future.