SRGAP2 Duplication & Inhibition

Wednesday’s Daily Science Update comes from Dr Jeffrey Tomkins, who claims that Newly Discovered Human Brain Genes Are Bad News for Evolution. Well, he would take the contrary view to the other news coverage on this study: see, for example, The humanity switch: How one gene made us brainier in the New Scientist for an example of the other.

The genes in question are SRGAP2, along with three (partial – they are not the full gene) duplicates only found in humans. Tomkins claims that these other genes are not – and indeed could not be – duplicates, and are instead ‘unique’ (and all the rest of it). Nevertheless, problems with his article begin with the title: the genes are not ‘newly discovered’ at all.

My quick inkscape drawing of the chimp/human chromosome 1 with the genes highlighted. Click through for the abstract of the paper w/ the figure this is based on Continue reading