Human big brain genes may have come from ‘junk DNA’

Human big brain genes may have come from ‘junk DNA’

Human big brain genes may have come from ‘junk DNA’

Scientists once considered most of the human genome to be “junk” because large chunks of its genetic code do not give rise to any proteins, the complex molecules whose job is to keep cells moving. However, it has since been discovered to be so-called garbage GOUT plays an important role in cells, and in a new study, scientists report that humans may actually have junk DNA, thanks to our exceptionally large brains.

The study, published Monday (January 2) in the journal Nature ecology and evolution (opens in a new tab)suggests that the genes that made it possible human brains to grow large patches and complex information networks may have originally emerged from junk DNA. In other words, at some point, the “junk” acquired the ability to code for proteins, and these new proteins may have been crucial to the human brain evolution.

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