Is the tidy picture of human and chimpanzee co-evolution turning into a collage?
|October 19, 2013||Posted by News under Human evolution, News|
Then a jigsaw puzzle?:
Although humans and chimpanzees share highly similar genomes, previous studies have shown that the species evolved major differences in mRNA expression levels. Many of these differences were thought to indicate areas of evolutionary divergence, thus pointing to genes important for human-specific traits.
Apparently not so.
“Some of these patterns of mRNA regulation have previously been thought of as evidence of natural selection for important genes in humans, but this can no longer be assumed,” Gilad said.
The study raises questions over why mRNA expression levels differ between species if they do not necessarily cause protein differences. Although further study is needed, Gilad believes this study suggests that protein expression levels evolve under greater evolutionary constraint than mRNA levels, via a yet-uncharacterized compensation or buffering mechanism.
“ a yet-uncharacterized compensation or buffering mechanism” = We have no idea what is going on here.
That is okay, as long as we don’t pretend we do.