Chimps, humans, and language, Svante Paabo
Interviewee: Svante Paabo. Evolutionary geneticist Svante Paabo speaks about the differences between chimp and humans and a genetic basis for language. (DNAi Location: Applications > Human origins > Comparisons > Behavior > Chimps, humans, and language)
So one of the obvious differences - one of the most interesting ones between apes and humans - is of course that humans have language and the apes don't. At least not a complex language as we do. And what was really fascinating a year ago was that a British group discovered the first gene we know of where mutations in a family in that gene, affects language ability and speech. And that gene is called FOXP2. And what we have done is to study the evolution of that gene. So we have sequenced the gene, in all the great apes, in chimps, gorillas, orangs, and in monkeys, and in the mouse, and what we find then is that there are two changes in the gene. That change to two of the messages in the protein made from the gene, have happened specifically on the line to human, whereas the chimpanzee, for example, is almost identical to the mouse. And in addition when we look on the pattern of variation in the human, we can see signals of recent selection. So that it seems that this gene has changed its function in some way that made it advantageous for humans within the last 200,000 years or so.
great apes,human origins,location applications,orangs,british group,language ability,genetic basis,chimps,interviewee,chimpanzee,geneticist,gorillas,apes and humans,chimp,primates,mutations,monkeys,signals,protein,variation
Geneticist Mary-Claire King talks about the similarities and differences between chimps and humans.
Evolutionary geneticist Svante Paabo speaks about differences between active human and chimp genes in different organs
Geneticist Mary-Claire King talks about her discovery that chimps and humans are extremely similar at a molecular level.
Evolutionary geneticist Svante Paabo talks about the possible outcomes of human and chimp gene comparisons.
Svante Pääbo of the Max Planck Institute joins Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory's Dave Micklos to discuss the Neanderthal genome project.
In 1967, Allan Wilson and Vince Sarich published their estimate that the human lineage had separated from the great apes five million years ago.
Variation between mtDNA (HVR1) samples from chimp, Neandertal and human.
Evolutionary geneticist Svante Paabo talks about the status of human smell receptors.
Phylogenetic relationships of modern humans, Neandertals, and chimps.
Comparison of genetic diversity in humans and chimpanzees, using sequences from 811 humans and 332 chimps.