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American scientists came to the conclusion that the FOXP2 gene associated with speech and the ability of language training did not give any evolutionary advantage of Homo sapiens. Previously it was thought that this part of DNA has provided modern humans advantage over Neanderthals and other archaic species of the genus Homo. This publication reports Science News.
The FOXP2 encodes a transcription factor that regulates the activity of other genes. It was shown that mutations in the gene are associated with disorders of speech and language. Man the FOXP2 the FOXP2 differs from other primates in two amino acids. In addition, the gene showed signs of the pressure of natural selection, indicating that it played an important role in human evolution. scientists have found that one of the variants of the gene has spread rapidly among people, about 200 thousand years ago.
In the new work, the researchers conducted statistical analysis different genetic versions of the FOXP2 using information about the genomes of the two databases — Human Genome Diversity Panel (HGDP) and 1000 Genomes Project phase 1. It turned out that in the consideration of all people regardless of their origin one option is indeed becoming more common than others. However, when analyzed separately from Africans, Europeans and Asians, then differences are not observed.
This is because when people migrate from Africa, some gene variants have spread beyond the continent, where the people appeared initially. The growth of populations on other continents separate alleles of the FOXP2 widespread. A similar pattern is observed with some other parts of the human genome. If the “speech gene” was affected by natural selection, it would be the only part of the DNA of the distribution among different population groups.
According to the researchers, the results do not reject the possibility that the FOXP2 could play a role in human evolution, but in any case this gene is not crucial.
Video, photo All from Russia.