Between Human & Chimp Brains, Transcription Factors Are Key

The PBS NOVA program’s Evolution website is rich territory for learning. Last night I watched What Darwin Never Knew. Superb!

Mapping the human genome has surprised many scientists with the comparative lack of DNA in humans, compared to other creatures and even plants. Even Christmas trees as seven more times the DNA of humans.

After that bit of news, the more is better race isn’t feeling quite a special. Science has an answer to our deflated egos.

You understand the concept of quality over quantity? When it comes to human behavior some days, the complexity of our DNA, particularly our transcription factors, inspires us to act more resourcefully than pine trees or champanzees. I said ‘some” days.

A new study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences compares chimp brain functions with human’s. Researchers found that broad differences in the gene activity of humans and of chimpanzees, affecting nearly 1,000 genes, appear to be linked to the action of about 90 transcription factors. Read on via Science Daily

More reading: The PBS YouTube channel is overflowing with good videos