Dec 25, 2022

Tiny New Genes Appearing in Human DNA Show How We’re Still Evolving

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

We may have parted ways with our primate cousins millions of years ago, but a new study shows just how human beings continue to evolve in ways we never imagined.

Researchers from Biomedical Sciences Research Center “Alexander Fleming” (BSRC Flemming) in Greece and Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, have identified 155 genes in our genome that emerged from small, non-coding sections of DNA. Many appear to play a critical role in our biology, revealing how completely novel genes can rapidly evolve to become essential.

New genes typically arise through well known mechanisms like duplication events, where our genetic machinery accidently produces copies of pre-existing genes that can end up suiting new functions over time.

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