Re: [evol-psych] Re: [Mind and Brain] News: New brain gene gives us edge over apes, study suggests
- From: Anna <pantheon@...>
Great. I was just talking about it. This is the best example what means a new gene.
JK: Great! Even someone as ignorant as Anna understands the importance of new gene gene expression, which is clearly nutrient chemical-dependent. Perhaps now we can discuss this equally ignorant comment excerpted from below: "This new molecule sprang from nowhere.... We're now hopeful that we will find more new genes that help show what makes us human."
If anyone knows what Anna says she was talking about, perhaps they can also tell us more about how new molecules spring from nowhere and somehow make us human.
For contrast, in a section of my published work with the heading: "An epigenetic continuum from microbes to humans: from theory to facts" I wrote: "This indicates that reproduction began with an active nutrient uptake mechanism in heterospecifics and that the mechanism evolved to become symbiogenesis in the conspecifics of asexual organisms (Margulis, 1998). In yeasts, epigenetic changes driven by nutrition might then have led to the creation of novel cell types, which are required at evolutionary advent of sexual reproduction (Jin et al., 2011). These epigenetic changes probably occur across the evolutionary continuum that includes both nutrition-dependent reproduction in unicellular organisms and sexual reproduction in mammals. For example, ingested plant microRNAs influence gene expression across kingdoms (Zhang et al., 2012). In mammals, this epigenetically links what mammals eat to changes in gene expression (McNulty et al., 2011) and to new genes required for the evolutionary development of the mammalian placenta (Lynch, Leclerc, May, & Wagner, 2011) and the human brain (Zhang, Landback, Vibranovski, & Long, 2011)."
Perhaps Anna will tell us more about "what means a new gene." Does anyone know how it sprang from nowhere?
James V. Kohl
Medical laboratory scientist (ASCP)
Kohl, J.V. (2012) Human pheromones and food odors: epigenetic influences on the socioaffective nature of evolved behaviors. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 2: 17338.
New brain gene gives us edge over apes, study suggestsNovember 14th, 2012 in Biology / Biotechnology
Scientists have taken a step forward in helping to solve one of life's greatest mysteries what makes us human?
An international team of researchers have discovered a new gene that helps explain how humans evolved from chimpanzees.
Scientists say the gene called miR-941 appears to have played a crucial role in human brain development and may shed light on how we learned to use tools and language.
Researchers say it is the first time that a new gene carried only by humans and not by apes has been shown to have a specific function within the human body.
A team at the University of Edinburgh compared the human genome to 11 other species of mammals, including chimpanzees, gorillas, mouse and rat, to find the differences between them.
The results, published in Nature Communications, showed that the gene miR-941 is unique to humans. The researchers say that it emerged between six and one million years ago, after humans had evolved from apes.
The gene is highly active in two areas of the brain that control our decision making and language abilities. The study suggests it could have a role in the advanced brain functions that make us human.
It is known that most differences between species occur as a result of changes to existing genes, or the duplication and deletion of genes.
But scientists say this gene emerged fully functional out of non-coding genetic material, previously termed "junk DNA", in a startlingly brief interval of evolutionary time. Until now, it has been remarkably difficult to see this process in action.
Researcher Dr Martin Taylor, who led the study at the Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, said the results were significant.
He said: "As a species, humans are wonderfully inventive we are socially and technologically evolving all the time. But this research shows that we are innovating at a genetic level too. This new molecule sprang from nowhere at a time when our species was undergoing dramatic changes: living longer, walking upright, learning how to use tools and how to communicate. We're now hopeful that we will find more new genes that help show what makes us human."
Provided by University of Edinburgh
"New brain gene gives us edge over apes, study suggests." November 14th, 2012. http://phys.org/news/2012-11-brain-gene-edge-apes.html
Robert Karl Stonjek