Bounty mutiny descendants have low rates of myopia: study
Descendants of a British mutiny who have lived for generations in the Pacific have among the lowest rates of myopia in the world, according to an Australian study.
The study examined eye problems among the descendants of the Bounty sailors and their Polynesian wives who settled on Pitcairn Island after the mutiny in 1789 and who then moved to Norfolk Island off Australia's east coast.
"One component of the study has found the prevalence of myopia (near-sightedness) on Norfolk Island is lower than on mainland Australia," said University of Western Australia academic David Mackey.
"But there was a two-fold higher prevalence of myopia in people without Pitcairn ancestry.
"We found the rate of Pitcairn group myopia is approximately one-half that of the Australian population and as a result would be ranked among one of the lowest rates in the world."
Pitcairn was settled in 1789 by mutineers from the British naval ship the Bounty, who famously set their captain William Bligh adrift in the South Pacific.
Many of the families of the mutineers moved from Pitcairn, a five-square-kilometre island midway between New Zealand and Chile, to the larger Norfolk Island in 1856.
Mackey, who is managing director of the Lions Eye Institute which carried out the study, said Norfolk Island was unique because almost half the islanders could trace their ancestry back to the original Pitcairn population of just nine British mutineers, 12 Tahitian women and six Tahitian men.
He said nearly 800 of the island's 1,200 inhabitants took part in the study.
The researchers were unable to conclude why the levels of myopia were different but said further research may allow the identification of genes that differ between Bounty descendants and other islanders, given they had similar exposure to sunlight.
A lack of sunlight is thought to be related to myopia, with exposure to the sun's rays believed to stimulate production of the chemical dopamine, which in turn stops the eyeball from growing elongated and distorting the focus of light entering the eye.
(c) 2012 AFP
- New hope for migraine sufferers: Female gene link identified Jun 04, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- East Asians short-sighted for snubbing outdoors: study May 04, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Sunlight could stop short-sightedness Jan 06, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Mythbusted -- people who wear glasses aren't geeks Mar 25, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Myopia appears to have become more common Dec 14, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Is energy convertible to matter?
1 hour ago Can we convert energy to matter?
Rotating electron as a dipole is this right?
3 hours ago An electron as shown by the Stern Gerlach experiment behaves like a dipole (albeit only in one of two states). I have been trying to figure out how...
Dipole term in multipole expansion
7 hours ago Hi. I'm having some difficult in understanding something about the dipole term in a multipole expansion. Griffiths writes the expansion as a sum of...
Bubbles in a Pre-Boiling/Boiling pot of water
9 hours ago How is it that bubbles form on the bottom of a surface of a pot of boiling water? I think that there is probably an elementary answer to this...
Assumptions of Griffith's fracture theory
19 hours ago Any experts on Griffith's fracture theory? I am studying the subject and I am having hard time finding out if the theory is valid for all possible...
Current leading voltage or vice versa concept
21 hours ago Hello, I was wondering if there is a conceptual explanation for when current leads voltage or vice versa for capacitors or inductors with AC...
- More from Physics Forums - Classical Physics
More news stories
Prostaglandin analogues (PGAs), drugs which lower intraocular pressure, are often the first line of treatment for people with glaucoma, but their use is not without risks. PGAs have long been associated with blurred vision, ...
Ophthalmology 10 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Exposure to sunshine as a small child is crucial to the development of a healthy eye according to results of long-term myopia study conducted by University of Sydney researchers.
Ophthalmology 15 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
The most common cause of failure after glaucoma surgery is scarring at the surgical site, so researchers are actively looking for ways to minimize or prevent scar formation. Previous work had suggested that vascular endothelial ...
Ophthalmology May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
New research is emphasizing the importance of regular screenings for glaucoma, a disease that deteriorates the optic nerve over time and is a leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. The onset of glaucoma is associated ...
Ophthalmology May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
The University of Nottingham and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, have been working with Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) to develop special 3-D glasses and games to help treat children ...
Ophthalmology May 08, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Native peoples in regions where cameras are uncommon sometimes react with caution when their picture is taken. The fear that something must have been stolen from them to create the photo ...
10 hours ago | 4 / 5 (4) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Despite spending billions of dollars on research and development, drug companies have been unable to come up with effective treatments for dementia and Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Now, A. ...
8 hours ago | 4.8 / 5 (6) | 0 |
An experimental sleeping pill from US drug company Merck is effective at helping people fall and stay asleep, according to reviewers at the US Food and Drug Administration, which could soon approve the new drug.
4 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
Activating an enzyme known to play a role in the anti-aging benefits of calorie restriction delays the loss of brain cells and preserves cognitive function in mice, according to a study published in the May ...
4 hours ago | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Australian scientists have charted the path of insulin action in cells in precise detail like never before. This provides a comprehensive blueprint for understanding what goes wrong in diabetes.
10 hours ago | 4.8 / 5 (4) | 0 |
A drug commonly used to treat depression and anxiety may improve a stress-related heart condition in people with stable coronary heart disease, according to researchers at Duke Medicine.
5 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |