One loci causing those kind of changes. Personally, I don't see how that is possible. Has this gone through peer review???
What are your thoughts??
This original paper has gone through peer review. It will be publish in nature.
The correllation is good but it does not mean that the gene made us smarter. the mutation migth of be the first step towards a bigger brain development.
Front page art on Nature magazine..
Nautica, this one locus (one loci is kinda contradictory :P) didn't cause these changes, but it allowed it to happen.
The idea is that with the complex muscle attachements it is impossible to change the morphology of the cranium. But since the mutation inactivates the gene, weaker muscles are formed, allowing for modulations of the overall structures.
The fact that it is found in all humans and not in primates really is a tell-all sign that something is going on..
It makes no sense to me.
If the human ancestor lost the gene for strong muscle it had still no extra brain to compensate for the obvious loss of fitness.
It would have to compete with same-brained, better jawed specimens.
what do you think?
The only way this could work would be if this population had changed its diet from things (like vegetable materials) that required heavy chewing to things (like half rotten meat) that didn't. So the adoption of a scavenger life style could make the heavy jaw muscles redundant. That wouldn't CAUSE them to shrink, of course - evolution doesn't work that way. But it could PERMIT them to shrink, if development of something else, like an enlarged brain, required it.
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