Small DNA Changes Separate Chimp and Human Brains

In the decade since the human genome was mapped, researchers have identified hundreds of small regions that differ between humans and fellow primates. Many show evidence of accelerated changes that might offer evolutionary clues to such fundamental differences as skeletal structure, motor skills and cognition since our human ancestors parted ways with chimpanzees some 6 million years ago. A new study suggests that just 10 differences on one particular strand of human DNA lying near a brain-development gene could have been instrumental in the explosive growth in the human neocortex.

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