A Gene Makes Us Humans

By Staff Reporter on November 21, 2012 2:01 AM EST

Brain
Brain (Photo: Flickr.com/Liz Henry)

What differentiates humans from apes? The answer lies in that one gene -- miR-914. It is this one gene which sets us apart and is responsible for our decision-making and language skills.

 Scientists at the Edinburgh University claim they have found the supreme gene that betters us humans and also explains the fundamentals of evolution from an ape to man.

The team sheds light on the gene, miR-941, which they think played an important role in the development of the human brain that is responsible for intelligence.

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This is the first finding that says this gene is only carried by humans and not apes.

Researchers from the University experimented and compared the human genome with 11 other species including rats, chimpanzees and gorillas to mark the differences between them.

The gene responsible for decision making ability and language skills makes humans unique and shows that humans have advanced brain functionality when compared to apes and chimpanzees.

The differences between the species occur as a result of changes to existing genes or duplication and deletion of genes. But in this case, miR-914 came out fully functional of a junk DNA. Junk DNA refers to non-coding genetic material.

Dr Martin Taylor led the study at the Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, University of Edinburgh.

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