|MadSci Network: Genetics|
The following is from a website discussing climate and the human body: http://archive.1sept ember.ru/eng/2003/29/1.htm and it agrees with what I learned in my undergraduate anthropology classes at Berkeley: "The eyes of the Chinese, Japanese, Eskimos, and other people of Mongoloid (of or pertaining to or characteristic of one of the traditional racial division of humankind including especially peoples of central and eastern Asia) descent are protected by epicanthic folds. These folds, composed of fatty tissue, probably evolved among their forebears inhabiting the Arctic in order to insulate the eye against freezing, and to provide an additional shield against glare from snow and ice." Thus this is likely an evolutionary adaptation to the environment. Those with the gene for making epicanthic fold were more likely to have children survive (thus have higher Darwinian fitness) and pass along those genes. Please see the University of Illinois at Chicago website for the course HUMAN ECOLOGY AND HUMAN ADAPTABILITY http://www.uic.edu/classes/osci/osci590/10_10Notes%20for%20Week% 2010.htm which includes the following references: Bunney, S. ed The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Human Ev0ution. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994. Garbarino, M. and Sasso, R. Native American Heritage 3rd ed. Prospect Heights: Waveland Press, Inc., 1994. Jamison, C. Bioanthropology B200: Bioanthropology. a learning guide. Bloomington: Indiana University Study Program, 1992. McElroy, A. and Townsend, P. Medical Anthropology in Ecological Perspective 3rd ed. Boulder: Westview Press, 1996. Mascie-Taylor, C. and Bogin, B. Human Variability and Plasticity. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995. Overfield, T. Biologic Variation in Health and Illness 2nd ed. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 1995. Poirier, F., Stini, W., and Wreden, L. In Search of Ourselves 5th ed. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1994. Relethford, J. The Human Species 3rd ed. Mountain View: Mayfield Publishing Company, 1996. Sinclair, D. Human Growth after Birth 5th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985.
Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Genetics.