Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Rutgers researcher offers a new perspective on human evolution

16.02.2004


The fossil remains of early humans gave generations of scientists the clues needed to piece together much of our ancestral lineage. Chi-Hua Chiu now leads us into another dimension in the study of human origins: the underlying developmental and genetic processes that led to these remarkable evolutionary changes.



"To develop a better understanding of the genetic basis of human evolution, we must discover specific relationships between particular genetic changes and their resulting effects on the body plan," said Chiu, an assistant professor of genetics and anthropology at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

Chiu explained that our expanding knowledge of genomics will open doors to an understanding of the ways in which genes regulate development, both in humans and their nonhuman relations.


Locomotion and limb structure have long been topics of interest to paleoanthropologists. In a presentation at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Seattle Monday (Feb. 16), Chiu spoke of correlating the evolution of genes responsible for the formation of arms and legs with the observable diversity in limb structure among humans and other primates.

In the growing field of evolution and development, known as EvoDevo, the view is that significant developmental differences are due to changes in gene regulation. "Once we have the structure of gene regulatory sequences, comparative studies of humans and nonhuman primates can be used to examine the evolution of these sequences, their functions and the resulting anatomical differences," said Chiu.

Chiu counseled her listeners to look to the mouse for answers, as have many research scientists before. "Primates are not ideal model organisms for developmental genetics and embryology because they have long generation times and produce small litters," she said.

Recognizing that mice certainly have important limitations as models for human or nonhuman primate development, Chiu noted that historical uses of mice in the laboratory have given EvoDevo researchers a head start. "There is already a substantial amount of information available on mouse developmental genetics," she said.

"Modern developmental genetics, comparative genomics and molecular embryology with model organisms provide the foundation on which to build innovative studies of genotype-phenotype relationships in human origins."

Joseph Blumberg | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.rutgers.edu/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Fine organic particles in the atmosphere are more often solid glass beads than liquid oil droplets
21.04.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie

nachricht Study overturns seminal research about the developing nervous system
21.04.2017 | University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

Im Focus: Quantum-physical Model System

Computer-assisted methods aid Heidelberg physicists in reproducing experiment with ultracold atoms

Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...

Im Focus: Glacier bacteria’s contribution to carbon cycling

Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.

A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A promising target for kidney fibrosis

21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>