Thursday, August 17, 2006

Gene May Be Key To Brain Evolution

Scientists think they have found a key gene that helped the human brain evolve from that of humans' chimplike ancestors.

In just a few million years, one area of the human genome seems to have evolved about 70 times as fast as the rest of the genetic code and appears to have had a role in the rapid tripling of the size of the brain's crucial cerebral cortex, scientists reported today in the journal Nature.

Co-author David Haussler of the University of California at Santa Cruz said his team found strong but circumstantial evidence that a gene called HAR1F played a key role.

The scientists still don't know specifically what the gene does, but it is involved with early development of the cerebral cortex, which is responsible for some of the more complex brain functions, including language and information processing.
How long do you think it is going to take before somebody genetically engineers a chimp with the human version of HAR1F? Planet of the Apes, here we come.

via Washington Post

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.