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Intraspecific Variation in Gene Expression Patterns in the Brains of Homo Sapiens: Implications of PŠŠbš's Findings for Group Cognitive Differences

John Foster

Published: 2002/09/01

Abstract

It has been suggested that an apparent contradiction posed by the very similar genomes of humans and chimpanzees and the marked morphological and cognitive differences between these two species, might be resolved by differences in the rates of expression of identical genes. Now, research reported in Science from the Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology at Leipzig, using DNA microarray technology, shows substantial differences in the rates of gene expression found in the brains of humans and chimps at autopsy. Individual differences in rates of gene expression were also reported among brains of human subjects. It has long been necessary to resolve the contrast between the very similar genomes and the well-documented cognitive differences found among regionally identified human populations. Are there group average differences in rates of brain gene expression related to cognitive differences among human populations? This question would appear to be researchable using the methodology reported from Leipzig.