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:6/2/2016)... 2016 The Department of Transport Management ... 44 million US Dollar project, for the , ... Personalization, Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure , to ... and implementation of Identity Management Solutions. Numerous renowned international vendors ... Decatur was selected for the most compliant and ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... patient care by providing unparalleled technology to leaders of the medical imaging industry.  As ... added to the range of products distributed by Ampronix. Photo - ... ... ... ...
(Date:5/9/2016)... Elevay is currently known as ... for high net worth professionals seeking travel for work ... world, there is still no substitute for a face-to-face ... your deal with a firm handshake. This is why ... of citizenship via investment programs like those offered by ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and will showcase its product’s latest features from ... also be presenting a scientific poster on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... of intelligent tools designed, tuned and optimized exclusively for Okuma CNC machining centers ... The result of a collaboration among several companies with expertise in toolholding, cutting ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 ReportsnReports.com adds ... to its pharmaceuticals section with historic and forecast ... much more. Complete report on the ... profiling 15 companies and supported with 261 tables ... . The Global Cell Culture ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016 Research and ... Global Markets" report to their offering. ... billion in 2014 from $29.3 billion in 2013. The market is ... of 13.8% from 2015 to 2020, increasing from $50.6 billion in ... projected product forecasts during the forecast period (2015 to 2020) are ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: