Skip to navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer

Approved Research

Investigating the influence of natural selection on metabolites

Principal Investigator: Professor Tom Gaunt
Approved Research ID: 62922
Approval date: December 14th 2021

Lay summary

Environmental and genetic factors both play a role in shaping individual variation. Characteristics that increase an individual's chance of survival and reproduction are more likely to be passed onto the next generation. This process is known as natural selection and it is reflected at the genetic level. Negative selection is a form of natural selection whereby rare genetic factors with harmful effect on survival and reproduction are removed from populations. Recent studies have found evidence for negative selection acting on characteristics such as body mass index (BMI), blood pressure and height.

This project will explore how natural selection influences different characteristics at the molecular level. These molecular traits affect the functioning of cells in the human body and are linked to numerous diseases. Gaining a better understanding of how these characteristics are related to survival and reproduction will enable researchers to prioritise specific research avenues. This prioritisation may improve human health.