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Posted by on Nov 16, 2012 in Technology |

Scientists discover gene that explain our evolution as a species

Scientists discover gene that explain our evolution as a species

Researchers at Edinburgh University have the gene that could help understand how humans evolved from chimpanzees. Under the name of miR-941 is a single in humans that appeared after the of apes, a gene that played a crucial role in human brain development and could shed light on how they learned to use the tools and language.

A study which compared with 11 other of mammals, including chimpanzees, gorillas and mice. A finding that leads us to answer one of the questions of science: what does the human body different from other mammals?

Previous studies have analyzed the differences between apes and humans, finding that genetic evolutionary advantages that help humans live longer than apes also makes them more vulnerable to diseases of aging, such as heart disease, cancer and dementia .

The new study, led by Martin Taylor of the Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, has shown that the miR-941 gene had a role in human brain development and even that could help explain how we acquire language and learn to use the tools. Not only that, it would be the first gene found only in humans and not in monkeys. According to researchers, appears to have some purpose in the human body.

During the study, the analysis with 11 different species of mammals was compared with the human genome to find variations. The final results showed that miR-941 was only present in humans after they evolved from apes somewhere between 6 and 1 million years ago.

Apparently, the gene is especially effective in two parts of the brain responsible activities that deal with the language and decision making. The research implies that it may play an important role in higher brain functions responsible for the unique way in which it defines the human being.

Still, scientists are aware explained that the result of alterations in genes exist or deletion or duplication of the same, makes the species different from each other.

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