Complete British News World

Forskare: En genmutation gör oss till människor

Scientists: Gene mutation makes us human

Until now, scientists didn’t know much about Neanderthal brains, but researchers have now found a difference that may have given Homo sapiens a cognitive edge.

By studying the fossilized skulls, scientists were able to see that the skulls of Neanderthals and modern humans, Homo sapiens, were the same size and that the brain of Neanderthals was probably slightly larger, he wrote. CNN.

Because soft tissues, such as the brain, are not well preserved in fossils, scientists didn’t know much about Neanderthal brain development, but now A new study published in the journal Scienceshowed a possible difference that it may have given modern humans a cognitive advantage over Neanderthals, who died 40,000 years ago.

Identified genetic mutation

According to researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany, they have identified a genetic mutation that causes neurons to form faster in the brains of Homo sapiens.

The primitive variant of the gene in question is known as TKTL 1 and differs by one amino acid from the variant Homo sapiens.

“We have identified the gene that contributes to making us human,” says the study’s author. Welland HuttnerProfessor and Director Emeritus at the Max Planck Institute for CNN.

Gene testing in mouse embryos

When researchers inserted two copies of the gene into mouse embryos, they found that the modern human version of the gene caused an increase in a specific cell that creates neurons in the neocortex region of the brain.

The researchers also tested the two genetic variants in rodent embryos and in lab-grown brain tissue created from human stem cells with similar results.

See also  EU funding for research into chemicals and diseases

More neurons gave Homo sapiens an advantage

The researchers hypothesize that the ability to produce more neurons likely gave Homo sapiens a cognitive advantage unrelated to brain size, suggesting that modern humans had more neocortex to work with than Neanderthals.

“This shows us that although we don’t know how many neurons the Neanderthal brain has, we can assume that modern humans have more neurons in the frontal lobe of the brain, where TKTL1 activity is at its highest,” Willand Huttner told CNN. .

Are you interested in economics and life sciences? This is how easy it is to get our free services news service.

Read more: Study: ‘memory suit’ helps damaged brains remember [Dagens PS]