Thanks to the large brain, we have evolved away from the simple primates’ mind. There are specific genes that trigger this change, making our brains bigger than any other organism. Recently, a group of researchers from Germany and Japan have used the same gene to stimulate the monkey brain to develop in size.
The left picture shows the normal brain, the right one shows the brain that has been increased in size by the action of genes.
This experiment could reconstruct this rare evolutionary moment, when humans separated from the rest of the primates with a single gene. The results of successful brain introduction are attributed to the following four factors:
– Increasing the size of the neucortex of the monkey.
Brain folds similar to the human brain.
– The number of cells involved in neuron production increases.
In particular, genes that increase the amount of neuro in the brain’s outer layer, which are neurons, have appeared more along the way.
“This shows that, basically, this gene and its human action is enough to increase the size and wrinkles of the primate brain.“, Study co-author Michael Heide commented.
Monkey fetus with increased brain size.
Once you conduct experiments on animals, people will ask questions related to ethics. The researchers assert that all those who joined hands in the new research understand this sensitive issue, and make the most humane decisions.
The team decided to remove the monkey fetus from the mother’s body when it reached 100 days of age. They thought that it was immoral to create a monkey that grows on human genes, and decided to stop the experiment.
“In my opinion, letting them be born is irresponsible, because you won’t know what changes in biological behavior will look like.”, Explains lead author Wieland Huttner.
Their research has been published in the journal Science.