News of the WeekGenetics

First Gene Linked to Speech Identified

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Science  05 Oct 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5540, pp. 32
DOI: 10.1126/science.294.5540.32a

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Only human beings can string a complex series of sounds together into speech. Now a team of researchers has identified the first gene directly involved in this uniquely human trait. The discovery may provide insights into how language is processed in the brain, and it opens the door to figuring out how and when language arose--a central question in the study of human evolution.