Population Explosion Is Creating Complex Problems

by Nellie J

As the worlds population continues to grow exponentially, we are starting to discover some not so expected results of the explosion. According to researchers at Cornell University, rare genetic variations are leading to an increase of complex disease.

Despite the obvious implications of the population explosion, ie water shortages, lack of resources, food shortages and the list starts to sound like some kind of litany you expect from a preacher at sunday school, the earths population continues to rise at an alarming rate.

The world cannot sustain the population explosion.

Since about 2,000 years ago (fewer than 100 generations), the human population has experienced an explosive growth after 8,000 years of moderate exponential growth.

This recent accelerated growth has created more genetic mutations and rare gene variants, which may play a role in boosting the risks of complex diseases in which genes play a role, say Cornell University researchers in the journal Science.

When a large sample of 10,000 individuals was used in a model of human population growth, rare genetic variants were detected far more frequently than in previous studies. The new model also shows that the vast majority of these rare variants were due to mutations that arose in the past 2,500 years, coinciding with the explosive growth.

Straight from the Source

Read the original study

DOI: 10.1126/science.1217283

Previous models had used small samples with 62 or fewer individuals, or they did not account for the recent increased rate of population growth, and, therefore, they predicted lower numbers of rare genetic variants.

“It is expected that the number of rare alleles [variants of genes] would increase with population growth,” says Alon Keinan, assistant professor in life science and technology, who co-authored the study with Andrew Clark, a professor of population genetics.

“Our conclusions show just how huge of an effect recent explosive growth in humans could have in this regard,” Keinan says, adding that the study also shows the importance of considering a very large sample in order to observe the rare variants in the population overall….More at Futurity.org – Population explosion comes with genetic risk

More Reading

The worlds population has almost tripled in the last 60 years. In 1950 the population stood at 2,555,982,611 compared to 2012 which it now stands at 6,991,800,919. The actual maths is that the worlds population has increased by 2.735464978873442 times. That is staggering when you think about it.

The population has tripled since the 1950’s

Despite the fact that we cannot continue to sustain such an explosion, we as a species continue to breed. To add to the never ending list of complex problems created by over population it seems that a now an even more sinister problem has arisen, and that is disease caused through genetic mutation.

As a global society it would make sense to start educating people as to the responsibility that we all need to take when it comes to becoming a parent.

What are your thoughts on the population explosion and do you think that governments are doing enough to curb the impending situation.

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