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Saturday, September 10, 2005

The human brain may still be evolving

Today's issue of Science reports the findings of a team of researchers from the University of Chicago, who have identified two alleles that have evolved significantly over the last 60,000 years. These alleles associated with genes microcephalin and ASPM, are said to be responsible for the size of the human brain. This comes behind last year's discovery of 20 genes associated with the brain that have evolved faster in the great ape lineage than, say, in mice. It was widely believed that human evolution has flatlined for the last 50,000 years or so. This new theory turns that on its head. If true, it could mean the human brain has and continues to evolve.

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2 Comments:

  • If one looks at the art produced by, say, the Egyptians or Etrusks and compare it with 17th century paintings one can see how perception has evolved. I beleive it was not a lack of technique in those days, it was how they were looking at things and how their brain was wired. To me it seems obvious that our body has changed, the brain in particular.

    Anyway. Was looking for Avalon info and was happy to find an interesting topic on your site :)) Guess there's a strong scientific soul in me.

    Keep well.

    By Anonymous Francois, at September 18, 2005 at 10:28 PM  

  • The human brain is still evolving. Evolution is a continual process - I can't think of an influence that it halting its progression.

    By Anonymous Shane, at June 13, 2008 at 5:28 AM  

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