Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Re: And the Evolutionary Beat Goes On . . .

In the same issue of PLoS Biology that

A Map of Recent Positive Selection in the Human Genome

appears (referred to in the Washington Post article "And the Evolutionary Beat Goes On") is:

Being Positive about Selection

How has language developed in humans and what genetic changes underlie our unique cognitive abilities? Accounts of positive selection that lead to such abilities in humans fascinate us because of the insight they provide into our own evolution, and into the many genetic differences that distinguish us from other apes. The genes that became fixed in our lineage as a result of positive selection are, after all, the ones that make us human. But understanding which gene, or what proportion of a genome, is being driven to fixation by natural selection is of more fundamental biological importance because it can tell us about speciation and the very nature of adaptation.

[Also see the second half of this post]

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