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NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The ability to continue digesting the milk sugar lactose in adulthood — enabled by ongoing expression of the lactase enzyme — seems to have spread across Africa through a combination of convergent evolution and past population movement, an international team reported today.

The resulting lactose tolerance patterns coincide with a rise in pastoralism and cattle domestication in various parts of the continent, and the lactose-related alleles found in present-day populations are revealing past human migrations and interactions.

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