Pollutants cause tiny genetic mutations in humans
You know when your brother called you a genetic mutant, and you said “am not,” and he said “are too”? Well, he was right. Sorry. According to new research, chemicals and pollutants like those found in exhaust fumes cause tiny DNA mutations which, while too small to cause immediate disease, can build up over generations. Mathematical models indicate that in a few million years, the mutations could render enough of us infertile that we, um, die out. Experiments on fruit flies designed by Laurence Loewe at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology in Edinburgh, Scotland, show that evolution (i.e., adaptation) won’t save us — the mutations are tiny enough to fly under the radar of natural selection. Unless we reduce our mutagenic activities, he said, we could be ensuring our eventual doom, “given that all the other doomsday scenarios don’t happen first.” Where’s intelligent design when you need it?