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Vesmír č. 10
Vesmír č. 10
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2. 10. 2017
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Kdo jsme, odkud přicházíme a kam směřujeme

Who are we, where are we came from and where are we aime at by Jiří Plachý.

Sudden change in conserved region of genome is the hallmark of evolutionary drift. Such changes occured in FOXP2, a gene involved in speech, and ASPM, which affects brain size. Another ancestrally conserved regions have been defined showing accelerated rate of substitution in the human lineage since divergence from our common ancestor with chimpanzee. HAR1, the most dramatically changed element, is a novel non-coding RNA gene that is expressed in a critical period of human neocortex development. HAR1 and the other human accelerated regions provide new candidates in the search for unique genetic determination of humanity.

Tremendous advances in sequencing technology since the first draft of human genome in 2001, enabled the reconstruction of Neandertal and some other ancient genomes. We met Neandertals and probably some other relatives, like inhabitants of the Denisova cave, on the way out of Africa. They gave us some small portion of the genome and shortly after the encounter our cousins disappered for ever. The reason, why we left alone, is not known, despite observed differences between humans and Neandertals in some genes that are important in cognition and skeletal development. Anyway, we are the only survivors and our future way should continue to the space.