In a post a few days ago, I mentioned a recent paper which dates a mutation in human evolution. That mutation expresses a neurochemical involved in earning and memory – in mice. You can find the article here:
- Zhi-xiang Lu, Jia Peng, Bing Su. A human-specific mutation leads to the origin of a novel splice form of neuropsin (KLK8), a gene involved in learning and memory. Human Mutation. (8 May 2007).
Be cautious about oversimplifying this, however. Their research does not identify a ‘magic gene’ which separated humans from apes. It does show a neurochemical is present in human brains and not in the brains of other primates, but the mutation may have happened sometime after humans diverged from chimpanzees 5 million years ago.
Update: NewScientist reports this as Gene variant may be responsible for human learning.