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Evidence of Human Brain Mutation circa 3800 BC

Posted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 8:59 am
by kbarrett
Mutation from 5800 years ago causes right brain functions shut down in 70% of current humanity? (just my guess ... )

From the article:

The team also sequenced the ASPM gene from the same original sample and again, among dozens of variants, found a defining mutation that alters the protein the gene codes for. Estimates are that the new variant of ASPM first appeared in humans somewhere between 14,000 and 500 years ago, with the best guess that it first arose 5800 years ago. It is already present in about a quarter of people alive today, and is more common in Europe and the Middle East than the rest of the world.

"The evidence for selection is compelling," says population geneticist Rasmus Nielsen of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. Yet it remains unclear yet how these genes work in healthy people. Many researchers doubt there is any mechanism by which nature could be selecting for greater intelligence today, because they believe culture has effectively blocked the action that natural selection might have on our brains.

Lahn and his colleagues are now testing whether the new gene variants provide any cognitive advantage. Natural selection could have favoured bigger brains, faster thinking, different personalities, or lower susceptibility to neurological diseases, Lahn says. Or the effects might be counter-intuitive. "It could be advantageous to be dumber," Lahn says. "I highly doubt it, but it's possible."

Posted: Wed Sep 14, 2005 3:42 pm
by Moderator
Yes I saw that article as well. Interesting stuff! We'll have to see how this research develops.

Reading Skills During the Middle Ages

Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 6:29 pm
by hob
"Silent reading was a late invention in Europe; it didn't begin to catch on widely until the tenth century, although there were isolated instances before then. The future St. Augustine was astonished the first time he saw someone reading without moving his lips, in Milan in the fourth century. ('When [Bishop Ambrose] read his eyes would travel across the pages and his mind would explore the sense, but his voice and tongue were silent.' Augustine wrote in his Confessions....)"

--Copies in Seconds, by David Owen, ISBN 0-7432-5117-2

Re: Evidence of Human Brain Mutation circa 3800 BC

Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:13 pm
by Memento Mori

Re: Evidence of Human Brain Mutation circa 3800 BC

Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 1:26 pm
by Memento Mori