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Scientists have discovered a gene variation, perhaps involved in brain size, that showed up only 6,000 years ago a mere blink of the eye in evolutionary time. This Discover, along with another brain gene that arrive about 37,000 years ago, providing scientists with strong evidence that the human brain is still a work in proecess..
"Its very exciting stuff" said Henry Harpending, a professor of anthropology at the University of Chicago, and appears today in the Journal Of SCIENCE.
Analyzing DNA samples from individuals aroundthe world, they identified two genetic varieties unique to humans. One, Calls Abnormal indle-like mucrocephialy or ASPM, First appeared 6,000 years ago and is now found in 30 percent of the polpulation... The other, called mircroceohalin, evolved aboiut 37,000 yrs ago and has spread to more than 70 percent of the polpulation....
"We dont know what the new variants do," Lahn Said, "But they might confer a selective advantage by improving cognitive abilities. This needs to be confirmed."
The scientists estimate the first sightings of these genes by calculating the slight differences among indivisuals in the populations studies. Lahn Likes it to the vast array of Bibles that probaly descended from a single copy. Over time, revisions can lead to errors or intentional chanes in the content.. The scientists assume a certain rate of change over time, and that is how they find their way to to ancestral gene.
While the first moderns humans date back to 200,000 yrs ago, our closest human ancestors, ones with shared human behavior, probaly evolved abour 40,000 yrs ago
People with damage to either of these two genes have smalle brains, equal in size to chimp brains..
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