Scientists found that gene regulation may call into question foundations of evolutionary theory.
A recent study examined segments of DNA that regulate the activation of particular genes throughout our life cycles. These regulators are responsible for determining if and when we grow certain features and explain why we look different from chimpanzees, despite sharing 96 percent of our DNA. Interestingly enough, what makes humans more "advanced" than our hairy relatives is the clamping down or deactivation of certain genes. While many deactivated genes have to do with physical characteristics–such as our ability to grow a large brain and not a tail–others may be linked to more behavioral traits.
Ultimately this study alters previous
conceptions on evolution, opening the door to a deluge of
interpretations on how and why we evolve. As a species it seems we are evolving by using less of our genetic makeup, potentially leaving behind qualities that we may desire. While the modern human may not need to use these carnal genes, the human of the future could potentially benefit by reactivating them and gaining new abilities, i.e. non-verbal communication seen in monkeys.