University of Chicago researchers discovered that humans are a 'privileged' evolutionary lineage


One way to study evolution at the molecular level is to examine changes of when and where proteins are expressed in the body. "But there are many challenges to study the evolution of protein expression. Instead, we chose to track structural changes in proteins," said graduate student Eric Vallender, lead author of the article along with former graduate student Steve Dorus, both of Lahn's laboratory.

Researchers examined the DNA of 214 genes involved in brain development and function in four species: humans, macaques (an Old World monkey), rats and mice. (Primates split from rodents about 80 million years ago; humans split from macaques 20 million to 25 million years ago; and rats split from mice 16 million to 23 million years ago.)

For each of these brain-related genes, they identified changes that altered the structure of the resulting protein, as well as those that did not affect protein structure. Only those genetic changes that alter protein structure are likely to be subject to evolutionary selection, Lahn said. Changes in the gene that do not alter the protein indicate the overall mutation rate the background of random mutations from which evolutionary changes arise, known as the gene's molecular clock. The ratio of the two types of changes gives a measure of the pressure of natural selection driving the evolution of the gene.

Researchers found that brain-related genes evolved much faster in humans and macaques than in rats and mice. Additionally, the human lineage has a higher rate of protein changes than the macaque lineage. Similarly, the human lineage has a higher rate than the chimpanzee lineage.

"For brain-related genes, the amount of evolution in the lineage leading to humans is far greater than the other species we have examined," Lahn said. "This is based on an extensive set of genes."

They argue that a significant fraction of genes in the human genome were impacted by this selective process

Contact: Catherine Gianaro
University of Chicago Medical Center

Page: 1 2 3 4 5

Related biology news :

1. NIH gives $8M to University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine for myositis research
2. A study by the MUHC and McGill University opens a new door to understanding cancer
3. Biologists at Tufts University discover 1 reason why chromosomes break, often leading to cancer
4. $9M grant awarded to University of Cincinnati for bipolar disorder research
5. University of Leeds strengthens China links in membrane and neurobiology
6. University of Colorado licenses two influenza virus detection discoveries to Quidel Corp.
7. Manchester University helps with pharaoh DNA analysis
8. University of Cincinnati receives $1.7M to research molecular treatment of brain injury
9. University of Arizona launches major scientific research initiative at Biosphere 2
10. Link between obesity and enlarged heart discovered by University of Arizona researchers
11. Bee researcher at Arizona State University is 1 of 20 new Pew Scholars in the biomedical sciences

Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/10/2015)... 10, 2015 About signature ... helps to identify and verify the identity of ... as the secure and accurate method of authentication ... particular individual because each individual,s signature is highly ... when dynamic signature of an individual is compared ...
(Date:11/4/2015)... , November 4, 2015 ... market report published by Transparency Market Research "Home Security Solutions ... and Forecast 2015 - 2022", the global home security solutions ... bn by 2022. The market is estimated to expand ... from 2015 to 2022. Rising security needs among customers ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... Calif. , Oct. 29, 2015  The J. ... new report titled, "DNA Synthesis and Biosecurity: Lessons Learned ... the Department of Health and Human Services guidance for ... in 2010. --> ... it also has the potential to pose unique biosecurity ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... that includes over 2,000 technical presentations offered in symposia, oral sessions, workshops, ... applied spectroscopy, covers a wide range of applications such as, but not limited ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015  PharmAthene, Inc. (NYSE MKT: PIP) announced  today ... rights plan (Rights Plan) in an effort to preserve ... under Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code). ... use of its NOLs could be substantially limited if ... Section 382 of the Code. In general, an ownership ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ:  AEZS; TSX: AEZ) ... remain fundamentally strong and highlights the following developments: ... DSMB recommendation to continue the ZoptEC Phase 3 ... final interim efficacy and safety data , ... with heavily pretreated castration- and Taxane-resistant prostate cancer ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015  Asia-Pacific (APAC) holds the third-largest ... market. The trend of outsourcing to low-cost locations ... higher volume share for the region in the ... margins in the CRO industry will improve. ... ( http://www.frost.com/sublib/display-report.do?id=P86A-01-00-00-00&src=PR ), finds that the market earned ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: