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.

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 July 31, 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 July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Fossils & Ruins News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Where Did The World Trade Center Shipwreck Come From?

Where Did The World Trade Center Shipwreck Come From?

Newsy (July 31, 2014) — Scientists say a ship remnant discovered underneath Ground Zero dates back to the 18th century. Why it sank is still uncertain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre

Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre

AP (July 29, 2014) — Food scraps and other items left on the grounds by picnickers brings unwelcome visitors to the grounds of the world famous and popular Louvre Museum in Paris. (July 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
London's Famed 'Gherkin' Goes on Sale for £650 Mln

London's Famed 'Gherkin' Goes on Sale for £650 Mln

AFP (July 29, 2014) — London's "Gherkin" office tower, one of the landmarks on the British capital's skyline, went on sale for about £650 million ($1.1 billion, 820 million euros) on Tuesday after being placed into receivership. Duration: 00:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) — The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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