Crucial DNA difference between humans and chimps boosts brain size in mice
The human version of a DNA sequence called HARE5 turns on a gene important for brain development (gene activity is stained blue), and causes a mouse embryo to grow a 12 percent larger brain by the end of pregnancy than an embryo injected with the chimpanzee version of HARE5.
Credit: Silver lab, Duke University
The work was supported by a research incubator grant from the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, the National Institutes of Health (R01NS083897), and National Science Foundation (HOMIND BCS-08-27552).
CITATION: “Human-Chimpanzee Differences in a FZD8 Enhancer Alter Cell-Cycle Dynamics in the Developing Neocortex,” J. Lomax Boyd, Stephanie L. Skove, Jeremy Rouanet, Louis-Jan Pilaz, Tristan Bepler, Raluca Gordan, Gregory A. Wray, Debra L. Silver. Current Biology, February 19, 2015. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2015.01.041.