Israeli Researchers Uncover Reasons for Human Brain Disorders
Genetic switches that caused differences between extinct Neanderthals and modern humans have been discovered by Israeli scientists. They have also found the reasons as to why humans have neurological and psychiatric disorders like autism and schizophrenia, but Neanderthals did not have.
Four years ago, scientists discovered that the two species genomes differ by a fraction of a percent, but no evidence was stated by them in favor of the statement.
In the latest research, researchers have come up with a cellular equivalent of 'on/off' switches that helps in determining whether DNA is activated or not. Liram Carmel, from Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said that genes related to neurological disorders were 'Off' in Neanderthals and is 'On' in modern humans. Sarah Tishkoff, an expert in human evolution at the University of Pennsylvania, said discovering differences in gene activation in typically an amazing medical and scientific feat.
Researchers said that a gene can bring many variations inside human brain and could result in harmful side effect of neurological illness when dozens of such genes unites together. Researchers found 99% similarities in gene mapping of both Neanderthal's and Human's epigenome.
Chris Stringer, of the Natural History Museum in London, said cluster of five genes, HOXD, which influences size and shape of limbs was absent in the ancient species. Chris added that these genes will help explain how these ancient humans have developed stronger bodies and better adaptability to the physical rigors of Stone Age life.
It will also explain reasons why Neanderthals' used to have shorter legs and arms, bow-leggedness, large hands and fingers and curved arm bones.
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