Saturday, 12 May 2012

What is Physical Anthropology?

Physical anthropology is mainly concerned with human evolution and variation.
In order to understand human variation, physical anthropologists used different methods.
Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, father of physical anthropology had used anthropometry to understand human variation. During the initial stages, anthropometry and anthroposcopy were used to understand this phenomenon.  Gradually, Blood group (ABO, Rh, MNSs etc.) and serum protein studies and later HLA blood typing were used for this purpose.  Now, Human genomic studies (Nuclear DNA and Mitochondrial DNA studies) are used to understand human variation and evolution.  Well-equipped laboratory is necessary to carry out these studies.  Slowly, people from other disciplines like Bio-technology are also doing research in human genomic studies for this purpose.
Earlier dermatoglypics was used to understand human variation and for forensic invetigation. Now, cheiloscopy is also being used to understand human variation and for forensic purposes.

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