Scientists pinpoint a gene regulator that makes human brains bigger

February 20, 2015 4:56 AM

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Scientists pinpoint a gene regulator that makes human brains bigger

By inserting bits of human DNA into mice, scientists were able to make their brains develop more rapidly -- and ultimately grow bigger -- in the womb. The study, published Thursday in Current Biology, suggests that the evolution of this gene may be one of the things that sets us apart from our close relatives in the primate world.

Human brains are unique, even when compared with our close genetic relatives, such as chimpanzees. Our brains are about three times heavier than those of our cousins, and are more complex and interconnected as well. It's generally accepted that these neurological differences are what allowed us to e...

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