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Surveys of protein-coding sequences for evidence of positive selection in humans or chimpanzees have flagged only a few genes known to function in neural or nutritional processes, despite pronounced differences between humans and chimpanzees in behavior, cognition and diet. It may be that most such differences are due to changes in gene regulation rather(More)
Genome editing with engineered nucleases has recently emerged as an approach to correct genetic mutations by enhancing homologous recombination with a DNA repair template. However, many genetic diseases, such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), can be treated simply by correcting a disrupted reading frame. We show that genome editing with transcription(More)
Despite striking differences in cognition and behavior between humans and our closest primate relatives, several studies have found little evidence for adaptive change in protein-coding regions of genes expressed primarily in the brain. Instead, changes in gene expression may underlie many cognitive and behavioral differences. Here, we used digital gene(More)
Understanding the molecular basis for phenotypic differences between humans and other primates remains an outstanding challenge. Mutations in non-coding regulatory DNA that alter gene expression have been hypothesized as a key driver of these phenotypic differences. This has been supported by differential gene expression analyses in general, but not by the(More)
BACKGROUND Parrots belong to a group of behaviorally advanced vertebrates and have an advanced ability of vocal learning relative to other vocal-learning birds. They can imitate human speech, synchronize their body movements to a rhythmic beat, and understand complex concepts of referential meaning to sounds. However, little is known about the genetics of(More)
Because many species-specific phenotypic differences are assumed to be caused by differential regulation of gene expression, many recent investigations have focused on measuring transcript abundance. Despite the availability of high-throughput platforms, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-QPCR) is often the method of choice because of its(More)
MOTIVATION The complexities of genetic data may not be accurately described by any single analytical tool. Phylogenetic analysis is often used to study the genetic relationship among different sequences. Evolutionary models and assumptions are invoked to reconstruct trees that describe the phylogenetic relationship among sequences. Genetic databases are(More)
Differences in cognitive abilities and the relatively large brain are among the most striking differences between humans and their closest primate relatives. The energy trade-off hypothesis predicts that a major shift in energy allocation among tissues occurred during human origins in order to support the remarkable expansion of a metabolically expensive(More)
While the hominid fossil record clearly shows that brain size has rapidly expanded over the last ~2.5 M.yr. the forces driving this change remain unclear. One popular hypothesis proposes that metabolic adaptations in response to dietary shifts supported greater encephalization in humans. An increase in meat consumption distinguishes the human diet from that(More)
The various means by which the body perceives, transmits, and resolves the experiences of pain and nociception are mediated by a host of molecules, including neuropeptides within the opioid gene signaling pathway. The peptide ligands and receptors encoded by this group of genes have been linked to behavioral disorders as well as a number of psychiatric(More)