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Cell. 2006 Sep 22;126(6):1033-5.

Brain evolution and uniqueness in the human genome.

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  • 1Division of Genetics, Children's Hospital Boston, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Despite an ever-expanding database of sequenced mammalian genomes to be mined for clues, the emergence of the unique human brain remains an evolutionary enigma. In their new study, trawl the human genome and those of other mammals in search of short conserved DNA elements that show extremely rapid evolution only in humans. As they report in a recent issue of Nature, their scan yielded a gene for a novel noncoding RNA that adopts a human-specific structure and may regulate neurodevelopment.

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