Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genomics Study Provides Insight Into The Evolution Of Unique Human Traits

Date:
July 31, 2007
Source:
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Summary:
Researchers report the results of a large-scale, genome-wide study to investigate gene copy number differences among ten primate species, including humans. In the report, the scientists speculate how unique, lineage-specific gene copy number expansions and contractions in humans may underlie traits such as endurance running, higher cognitive function, and susceptibility genetic disease.

Researchers from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, along with colleagues from Stanford University, report the results of a large-scale, genome-wide study to investigate gene copy number differences among ten primate species, including humans. The study provides an overview of genes and gene families that have undergone major copy number expansions and contractions in different primate lineages spanning approximately 60 million years of evolutionary time.

Related Articles


In the report, the scientists speculate how unique, lineage-specific gene copy number expansions and contractions in humans may underlie traits such as endurance running, higher cognitive function, and susceptibility genetic disease.

Primates first appeared on earth approximately 90 million years ago, and today, about 300 different species of primates exist. "One of the main genomic driving forces in primate evolution is gene duplication," explains Dr. James Sikela, Professor at the University of Colorado. "To our knowledge, this study is the most comprehensive assessment of gene copy number variation across human and non-human primate species so far."

To survey the differences in gene copy number among these species, Sikela and colleagues used DNA microarrays containing over 24,000 human genes to perform comparative genomic hybridization experiments. They compared DNA samples from humans to those of nine other primate species: chimpanzee, gorilla, bonobo, orangutan, gibbon, macaque, baboon, marmoset, and lemur. This allowed them to identify specific genes and gene families that, through evolutionary time, have undergone lineage-specific copy number gains and losses.

The authors of the report suggest that "many of the genes identified are likely to be important to lineage-specific traits found in humans and in the other primate lineages surveyed." To illustrate this potential, the scientists highlighted several gene families that exhibited striking lineage-specific differences. In particular, the human lineage-specific copy number expansion of a gene called AQP7 could explain why humans have evolved the capacity for endurance running. AQP7, or aquaporin 7, plays a role in transporting water and glycerol across membranes. Therefore, it may facilitate the mobilization of glycogen (energy) stores during long periods of intense exercise; it may also play a role in dissipating excess heat through sweating.

The scientists also found dramatic gene copy number differences potentially associated with cognition, reproduction, immune function, and susceptibility to genetic disease.

The work was supported by grants from the Butcher Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

About the article: The manuscript will be published online ahead of print on Tuesday, July 31, 2007. Its full citation is as follows: Dumas L., Kim Y.H., Karimpour-Fard A., Cox M., Hopkins J., Pollack J.R., and Sikela J.M. 2007. Gene copy number variation spanning 60 million years of human and primate evolution. Genome Res. doi:10.1101/gr.6557307.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "Genomics Study Provides Insight Into The Evolution Of Unique Human Traits." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 July 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070730173507.htm>.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. (2007, July 31). Genomics Study Provides Insight Into The Evolution Of Unique Human Traits. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070730173507.htm
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "Genomics Study Provides Insight Into The Evolution Of Unique Human Traits." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070730173507.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Fossils & Ruins News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Bring Player Pianos Back to Life

Researchers Bring Player Pianos Back to Life

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) — Stanford University wants to unlock the secrets of the player piano. Researchers are restoring and studying self-playing pianos and the music rolls that recorded major composers performing their own work. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Domestication Might've Been Bad For Horses

Domestication Might've Been Bad For Horses

Newsy (Dec. 16, 2014) — A group of scientists looked at the genetics behind the domestication of the horse and showed how human manipulation changed horses' DNA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mozart, Beethoven, Shubert and Bizet Manuscripts to Go on Sale

Mozart, Beethoven, Shubert and Bizet Manuscripts to Go on Sale

AFP (Dec. 16, 2014) — A collection of rare manuscripts by composers Mozart, Beethoven, Shubert and Bizet are due to go on sale at auction on December 17. Duration: 00:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Old Ship Records to Shed Light on Arctic Ice Loss

Old Ship Records to Shed Light on Arctic Ice Loss

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 15, 2014) — Researchers are looking to the past to gain a clearer picture of what the future holds for ice in the Arctic. A project to analyse and digitize ship logs dating back to the 1850's aims to lengthen the timeline of recorded ice data. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins