Unraveling where chimp and human brains diverge

many of the genes that play a central role in cerebral cortex networks in humans, but not in the chimpanzee, also show significant changes at the DNA level.

"When we see alterations in a gene network that correspond to functional changes in the genome, it implies that these differences are very meaningful," said Oldham. "This finding supports the theory that variations in the DNA sequence contributed to human evolution."

Relying on a new analytical approach developed by corresponding author Steve Horvath, UCLA associate professor of human genetics and biostatistics, the UCLA team used data from DNA microarrays vast collections of tiny DNA spots -- to map the activity of virtually every gene in the genome simultaneously. By comparing gene activity in different areas of the brain, the team identified gene networks that correlated to specific brain regions. Then they compared the strength of these correlations between humans and chimps.

Many of the human-specific gene networks identified by the scientists related to learning, brain cell activity and energy metabolism.

"If you view the brain as the body's engine, our findings suggest that the human brain fires like a 12-cylinder engine, while the chimp brain works more like a 6-cylinder engine," explained Geschwind. "It's possible that our genes adapted to allow our brains to increase in size, operate at different speeds, metabolize energy faster and enhance connections between brain cells across different brain regions."

Future UCLA studies will focus on linking the expression of evolutionary genes to specific regions of the brain, such as those that regulate language, speech and other uniquely human abilities.


Contact: Elaine Schmidt
University of California - Los Angeles

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Unraveling the physics of DNAs double helix
2. Unraveling Alzheimers: Clues may be found visualizing plaques in human brain, mad cowtype diseases
3. Unraveling the viral mechanism
4. Unraveling a stomach cancer puzzle
5. High-intensity ultrasound may launch attack on cancer, wherever it lurks
6. Waters off Washington state only second place in world where glass sponge reefs found
7. Fruit fly gene from out of nowhere is discovered
8. Where did we come from, and how did we get to where we live today?
9. Why do oysters choose to live where they could be eaten?
10. Plant studies reveal how, where seeds store iron
11. Unique imaging uncovers the invisible world where surfaces meet

Post Your Comments:
TAG: Unraveling where chimp and human brains diverge

(Date:10/2/2015)... DUBLIN , Oct. 02 2015 ... addition of the "Enforcing the Law Using ... http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/6kp5mx/enforcing_the_law ) has announced the addition of ... report to their offering. --> Research ... addition of the "Enforcing the Law Using ...
(Date:9/30/2015)... global glucose monitoring device and diabetes management market is valued ... on the industry from Kalorama Information. Sales in the traditional glucose ... continuous glucose monitoring and sensor segment, according to the healthcare ... in its latest report, The Global Glucose Monitoring Market ... , ...
(Date:9/28/2015)...  The monitoring of vital signs, such as ... an essential component of patient assessment. Changes in ... a patient,s condition. However, in general care areas ... during routine observation rounds only once every four ... these observation rounds, the warning signs can go ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/9/2015)... HERSHEY, Pa. and ROCKVILLE, ... Therapeutics, Inc. ("ITI"), a privately-held biotechnology company developing ... today announced that it has entered into an ... on LAMP-vax products for the treatment or prevention ... Upon execution of the agreement, Immunomic Therapeutics will ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... ... October 09, 2015 , ... Leading microbial genomics startup uBiome ... better understand the relationship between weight management and the microbiome. The study uses the ... participants using an iPhone app. , The uBiome app is available as a free ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... N.J. , Oct. 8, 2015  Genetic testing ... may aid the identification of more couples at risk ... a study presented today at the 2015 American Society ... October 10 in Baltimore, Maryland . ... Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX ) are presenting at ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... , October 8, 2015 ... .   --> Goldman Small Cap ... the small cap and microcap sectors, announced today ... report on PharmaCyte Biotech, Inc. (OTCQB - PMCB), ... on developing and preparing treatments for cancer and ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: