Scientists combine Human DNA with mice to get brainiac mice with big brains. A beloved cartoon series was all about laboratory mice that had big brains. Actually, I have bred animals with various characteristics that were not appearance but rather, behavior changes. More about that later. First, we have scientists who have created mice with bigger brains:
The study’s authors, based out of Duke University, successfully produced an excessively brainy mouse embryo by isolating a key genetic sequence involved in human brain growth. Their results were published today in Current Biology.
Maybe they could produce bigger brains for the SJW students so they can pass more rigorous courses.
“Many others have tried this and failed,” co-author Gregory Wray said in a statement. “We’ve known other people who have looked at genes involved in brain size evolution, tested them out, and done the same kinds of experiments we’ve done and come up dry.”
Frankenstein slaps his forehead. He created a ‘new man’ and it was a bit undersized in the brain department. He should have stuck to mice.
The Duke team tracked down this elusive sequence by comparing the genomes of humans and chimpanzees. They further narrowed the focus to include only sequences that were significantly different between the species, which revealed 106 “enhancer” sequences—meaning that these short bits of DNA interact with neighboring genes and control their activity.
From there the team isolated the right enhancer by identifying which sequences were located closest to proteins involved in early brain tissue development. They zeroed in a sequence called HARE5, and introduced both the human and chimpanzee versions of the strand into mouse embryos.
Though the two primates’ HARE5 sequences differ by only 16 letters, they delivered dramatically different results. The mouse embryos with the human enhancer grew brains that were 12 percent bigger than those with chimp enhancers.
Genome News Network: Human Chromosome 5 is complete in 2004: seems this is a significant chromosome:
Scientists have completed the genome sequence of one of the largest chromosomes in the human genome, which also has relatively few genes. The newly sequenced human chromosome 5 is available online, and a report on chromosome appears this week in Nature.
For example, the finished sequence details regions of the chromosome that contain duplications, or extra copies of DNA, that may cause disease. One of these regions on chromosome 5 is associated with the muscle-wasting disease spinal muscular atrophy.
A lot of genetic ‘double down’ goes on I suppose due to evolution, we are rather ‘high’ on the evolutionary tree and have a long evolutionary history of vast changes from a single celled creature to modern times.
Most of the chromosome has regions of DNA that contain no genes at all, and yet similar regions were found in mouse, rat, and chicken. It is possible that these sequences, even though they don’t contain many genes, have been conserved over the course of evolution because they are important to human health.
The Department of Energy became interested in chromosome 5 eight years ago because it contains a cluster of genes associated with cancer. The DOE enlisted Stanford University along with the Joint Genome Institute in Walnut Creek, California, to carry out the actual sequencing.
I used to breed animals for various characteristics. When I was a child, in the 4H Club way back before 1960, I proposed to prove that chickens and humans have similar genetic heritage for violence and I could bring this out via breeding. Note above that rats and chickens share certain DNA with us humans.
So…I did the Killer Rooster experiment. It was really simple, I would flick new hatched chicks with my finger and calculate how far back they would move to avoid me. There was this scale of distance I used.
Each generation, I bred the least scared hen with the least scared rooster until Killer Rooster was hatched. Right away, he didn’t jump back, he pecked me! I was so happy.
I kept him for years after showing him at the State Fair. People wanted to buy him from me for cock fighting but I kept him. He guarded our home. He was devastating.
Whenever anyone tip toed into the yard to break into the house, they were assailed by this outraged rooster who was very violent.
Way back when I was still young, I started the Killer Rabbit project, too. Same rules, same breeding. Eventually, a rabbit was born that was Killer Rabbit. He was very tame with me but would attack visitors who didn’t get permission.
Killer Rabbit had to be put down despite being the best guard dog, ever. He nailed more than one creep in Tucson! Made the news! And then he bit a postal worker and had to be put down.
The point is, inside our genetic makeup is some very odd genes lurking that connect us to dinosaurs, for example. It can be brought out via selective breeding. The brain connection between mice and men isn’t that great a leap, in the genome world. It is amazingly close.
After living with a crow I raised, I wonder what a crow/human brain boost would look like. Crows are shockingly brainy birds and are extremely observant.
Indeed, my cats…er…give them more devious brains? Dangerous, I say, could be very dangerous. Cat ladies might take over the world! Watch out.