Genomics, social media and the evolution of football

Genomics and social media have become tools that allow scientists to better understand the evolutionary history of an organism, a team of researchers from the University of Cambridge has found.

The team from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany, along with colleagues from the US and Italy, analysed the genomes of more than 500,000 athletes in an effort to map the genetic information of a large number of different sport players.

The results have been published in the open access journal PLOS Genetics.

The research was led by Dr Christoph Ziegler, who led the work.

He said the team used “a massive amount of genetic data” to trace the evolutionary origins of more and more of the athletes they studied, which included elite footballers from the German Bundesliga, the German Super League and the French Ligue 1.

“We were able to identify some significant differences between individuals, and to infer the specific genetic variants that might have made them better at playing football,” Dr Ziegling told BBC News.

“In many cases, the data suggest that these genetic variants could be related to other health factors, such as asthma or obesity.”

This kind of data can provide valuable information on how the genes play out in the human population, and that can be used to develop new ways to help understand disease risk and how genetic variation influences behaviour.

These are all possible consequences of the differences in genetic information that are involved in football,” he said.”

We have found some very interesting associations with asthma and obesity.

These are all possible consequences of the differences in genetic information that are involved in football,” he said.

Dr Zigling said that he was particularly excited about the discovery that athletes in other countries are more likely to have more variants that contribute to asthma than in the UK.

He said that the genetic variation associated with these health risk variants was not present in the genomes from the athletes that the team studied.””

I think this is a very exciting discovery,” he added.

He said that the genetic variation associated with these health risk variants was not present in the genomes from the athletes that the team studied.

“It is possible that these are genetic variants in the athlete that we haven’t identified yet, but we still need to identify these genes to be able to better analyse them,” he told BBC news.

“I think that this is an important piece of the puzzle.

It shows that the variation we see in the DNA is not the result of random chance, but is part of a complex system that involves genetic information from thousands of years ago and is related to the physiological and behavioural traits that athletes possess.”

Dr Matthew Bicknell, from the Medical Research Council’s Institute of Genomics in Cambridge, said that many of these variants were likely to be important for the athletes’ performance, and he welcomed the work as an example of the importance of genetics in science.

“The work we are doing on these variants could provide insights into the evolutionary roots of some of the traits that are currently known to play a role in human behaviour,” Dr Bickern said.

“Such information can be of great value in improving the genetic predictors of these traits, so that we can understand more about the genetic factors that influence these traits in the future.”

These findings provide important insight into the underlying genetic mechanisms that might underlie some of these health behaviours, and they could also inform future research to identify potential health risks associated with such traits.

“Our findings show that, despite the great advances in genetic research, our understanding of the complex genetic systems that underlie our health and disease is still in its infancy.”

Follow Helen on Twitter: @helenstowe