News of the WeekPRIMATE EVOLUTION

Gene Activity Clocks Brain's Fast Evolution

Science  12 Apr 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5566, pp. 233-235
DOI: 10.1126/science.296.5566.233

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Summary

A team of molecular biologists has taken a stab at defining what makes us human. Its answer: We're set apart from other primates not so much by differences in the makeup of our genes but by relatively recent changes in how active those genes are. Such changes are most dramatic in the brain, where they've occurred at a faster rate in humans than in other primates, they report on page 340.