Post-Genome Biology of Primates by Hirohisa Hirai, Hiroo Imai, Yasuhiro Go

By Hirohisa Hirai, Hiroo Imai, Yasuhiro Go

In 2001, first studies of the human draft genome have been released. seeing that then, genomes of many different organisms were sequenced, together with a number of primate species: the chimpanzee, rhesus macaque, gorilla, orangutan, gibbon, baboon, marmoset, tarsier, galago, lemur, and extra lately Neanderthals. In a brand new period of "post-genome biology", scientists now have the monstrous quantity of data printed through genome study to confront some of the most hard, primary questions in primatology and anthropology: What makes us human? This quantity includes a suite of articles on quite a few issues correct to primate genomes, together with evolution, human origins, genome constitution, chromosome genomics, and bioinformatics. The e-book covers the state of the art examine in molecular primatology and offers nice insights into the sensible variety of primates. This useful assortment will gain researchers and scholars, together with primatologists, anthropologists, molecular biologists, evolutionary biologists, and animal behaviorists.

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Third, estimating the direction of an ontogenetic shift requires estimating extinct ancestral forms or using outgroup species, which is not always feasible (the hominid fossil record is notoriously weak). Finally, morphometric studies analyze changes in size and shape, and these two sets of parameters are usually not independent (Alberch et al. 1979). , undergrowth). Critically, depending on which dimensions are taken as reference, one may reach opposing conclusions on the type of heterochrony observed.

As biologists, however, we have to distinguish clearly between the two, as genetic changes that took place on the human lineage would underlie the former but not the latter. Simply speaking, we have to consider humans outside of all artifacts that accumulated during the course of human history as a consequence of cultural transmission (Tomasello 2008). Instead, we need to identify the genetic background of cognitive features enabling humans to transmit knowledge between generations. Second, even the small difference between the human and the chimpanzee genomes still accounts for millions of point mutations, thousands of insertions and deletions, as well as several large-scale genetic rearrangements (Consortium CSaA 2005).

2004). Notably, alterations in the normal pace of cortical maturation can affect mental functions in humans (Shaw et al. 2007). It is thus possible that in the chimpanzee brain, cortical maturation finishes substantially earlier, leading to limited plasticity and, potentially, limiting the chimpanzee’s learning abilities relative to the human. Conversely, this finding further supports the notion that neoteny might have played an essential role in evolution of human cognitive abilities by extending the period of neuronal plasticity in the human brain.

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