Lactase Persistence Mutation

Dr. Tishkoff on lactase persistence distribution. (0:58)

Populations from northern Europe and regions in Africa have mutations near the LCT gene that cause lactase production to continue into adulthood.

Called lactase persistence, this is thought to be a human evolutionary adaptation to drinking milk from domesticated animals. The mutation appeared at about the same time as the domestication of cattle, according to archaeological evidence.