Feedback and Notes

Due to Ning (our Web hosting company) being bought recently from the ashes of Mode Media we often experience 500 connection errors. Our apologies but these errors are out of our control. Hopefully, this will improve as the new company gains experience. Regards, AU

We are a worldwide social network of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and secular humanists.

HOW THE PENIS LOST ITS SPIKES

Zoë Corbyn in Nature:

ScreenHunter_01 Mar. 10 11.48Sex would be a very different proposition for humans if — like some animals including chimpanzees, macaques and mice — men had penises studded with small, hard spines.

Now researchers at Stanford University in California have found a molecular mechanism for how the human penis could have evolved to be so distinctly spine-free. They have pinpointed it as the loss of a particular chunk of non-coding DNA that influences the expression of the androgen receptor gene involved in hormone signalling.

"It is a small but fascinating part of a bigger picture about the evolution of human-specific traits," said Gill Bejerano, a developmental biologist at Stanford who led the work along with colleague David Kingsley. "We add a molecular perspective to a discussion that has been going on for several decades at least."

Published in Nature today1, the research also suggests a molecular mechanism for how we evolved bigger brains than chimpanzees and lost the small sensory whiskers that the apes — who are amongst our closest relatives and with whom it has been estimated we share 96% of our DNA — have on their face.

More here.

Original here http://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksdaily/2011/03/how-the-penis-lost...

Views: 27

© 2017   Created by Atheist Universe.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service