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1 III-2004: 02 04 07 11 17 26

news lite

 

claim that mutation changed skull dynamics allowing hominoid brain expansion

“The study began with the discovery of an unexpected similarity between an "anonymous" piece of the human genome sequence and some previously studied genes known to power muscle contraction. The surprise came when a small, inactivating deletion was found in this sequence, perhaps explaining why the computer programs had previously passed by the area without recognizing it as a gene.”

“ Additional studies showed that versions of this gene in non-human primates bear the imprint of a critically important function for the animal, which implies that the mutation afflicts all humans, in one sense of the word, with the same inherited muscle "disease." The intriguing questions became, what is the "disease" and why is it so common?”

“At the tissue level, the researchers found that macaque chewing and biting muscles are nearly ten times as large as in humans, which correlates with the fact that MYH16 protein is made in macaques and not in humans.”

“From this the investigators postulated that the first early hominids born with two copies of the mutated MYH16 gene would show many effects from this single mutation--most notably a reduction in size and contractile force of the jaw-closing muscles, some of which exert tremendous stress across and/or cause deposition of additional bone atop growth zones of the braincase.”

26.03.2004
 
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