Evolution is an essential part of the history of any species, including humankind. Many have wondered how the humans of the future might look like, especially in a world affected by pollution and climate change.
While some are thinking about visible changes related to our body, with height and skin color being two examples, a new study proves that small-scale changes can show how fascinating and unpredictable is evolution, especially when the new traits are harder to spot.
Useful in the womb
The new study has explored the presence of an additional blood vessel in the arms of some participants, a trait that is on the way to becoming quite common among future generations. It is interesting that this blood vessel is a temporary artery which forms within a baby while in the womb. This artery used to disappear in the past, but it seems to have become more resilient in time.
Scientists have studied the circulatory system of humans for more than 300 years. According to current data, the artery persisted in the case of 10% of people born at the end of the 1880s. The rate has increased to 30% towards the end of the 20th century.
Known as the median artery, the interesting blood vessel plays an important role as it transports blood to the hands during the early stages of formation. After the hands have developed, it will be replaced by the ulnar and radial arteries.
A series of tests conducted on 80 bodies that were donated for scientific purposes infer that the median artery is three times more common in the present in comparison to 100 years ago, suggesting that evolution favors the presence of the additional blood vessel.
While a median artery can offer an additional flux of blood and some dexterity benefits, it can also favor the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.