|Staff travel to North Western Romania|
Fieldwork was recently carried out by PhD Student/Research April Bentley and Patricia Furphy, Skeletal Technician in the gypsy village of Szaszcsavas, Transylvania, in the North-Western territory of Romania.
The pair travelled to the village to collect buccal swab samples for research into lactose SNPs (single nucelotide polymorphisms or allelic changes) in world populations. Presently, the ability to digest lactose affects over 60% of the known world. However, certian populations have acquired a mutation within or near the lactose gene that allows for these individuals to be lactose persistent, or for the continuing digestion of milk or milk products.
This research hopes to determine if the Roma Population of Romania and Hungary has this lactose perssitent allelic change, and in doing so be used to determine if convergent evolution plays a part in human adaptation.