Category Genetics

PARs in the Womb

The Incredible Shrinking Man is interested to know what consequences can be expected for human height if nutrition availability after birth doesn’t match predictions by the fetus on the basis of its prenatal environment. During pre-birth development fetuses prepare for the world outside by using the health of their mother as a nutritional barometer. If the mother […]

Ituri Zebras (Mbuti)

At an adult height of only 135-140 centimeters the Mbuti of Congo are about 25 to 30% shorter than an average person and among the shortest people alive today. Their average weight of only 40 kg constitutes a significantly more intelligent and efficient body design, needing far less resources to maintain itself. In our investigation on […]

Fish Representatives

In most genetics research, Homo sapiens is represented by small fish like Danio rerio (zebrafish)  and Oryzias latipes (Japanese rice fish). Both are important model organisms, representing man in developmental genetics, neurophysiology and biomedicine. When we tinker with genes what happens to the fish is most likely to happen to us as well. If the […]

Pegvisomant

Pegvisomant (tradename Somavert) is a genetically engineered analogue of the human growth hormone (GH) that stops unnaturally vigorous growth in patients with acromegaly. It works as a GH receptor antagonist and blocks or dampens agonist-mediated responses by binding to growth hormone receptors on cell surfaces. Pegvisomant is used if the tumor of the pituitary gland causing the acromegaly cannot […]

Growth Deceleration

Adult size isn’t just determined by how fast we grow. It depends also, and perhaps foremost, on how and when this growth stops. Somatic growth results from both cell proliferation (hyperplasia) and cell enlargement (hypertrophy). In mammals, somatic growth is rapid in embryonic and early postnatal life but decelerates dramatically with age, declining toward zero as […]

180 Loci

Height is a classic polygenic trait which means it’s influenced by multiple genetic and environmental factors. Up to 90% of the variation in height is determined by inherited factors. Until now only a fraction of this 90% has been profiled succesfully. However, recent advances in genetics and genomics now permit comprehensive genome-wide surveys of common […]

Supercentenarians

There’s an undisputable relationship between longevity and height. Short people live longer. Accordingly, most supercentenarians (people of 110 years and older)  are relatively small, and not because they shrink with age. Here are some heights versus age at death of prominent supercentenarians. 1.Jeanne Calment 149,9 cm, 122 yrs and 164 days 2.Sarah Knauss 139,7 cm, […]

Micro Love

We must teach ourselves to desire the short. The greatest challenge to achieve the goal of smaller humans is our cultural and biological inclination to think bigger is better. Bigger as better is programmed so deeply into our subconsciousness that to think outside of its deeply embedded pattern seems almost impossible. But we must. One thing that […]

Immunity & Indirect Short Stature

Pygmies’ short stature evolved to equip them for life in the jungle. But the exact driving force is the subject of scientific debate. It could have given them an evolutionary edge because smaller bodies are better suited to move through dense forest or because they are more able to dissipate heat. They also have significantly […]

D.I.Y. Shrink List.

If we are to believe this last report published by MIT Press, economic collapse is just around the corner. If that’s true it won’t hurt to prepare our children both mentally and physically for a world in which there will be a lot less of everything.  A decrease in height of only 10% already lowers […]