Thursday, April 12, 2012

Regulatory DNA losses and the human penis

When can DNA losses be a good thing? When it means the human penis no longer has spines. The sequence correlated with this spine development was present in chimpanzees and macaques, but was deleted in humans. Researchers suggest that this could be linked to a transition to a more monogamous lifestyle, and a longer duration of copulation when compared with chimpanzees.

So that's good... Yay, evolution!

(Side note: When “Human-specific loss of regulatory DNA and the evolution of human-specific traits” came out in Nature, it presented a few, wide-ranging, examples of regulatory DNA losses in humans, with implications for brain expansion, among others. The media, however, immediately jumped one word: PENIS. The topic of this blog means I can also do no other. However, the paper is still an interesting read if someone wants to check it out.)


  1. This is on a separate note but I joined the course pretty late into the semester and as a result, never actually joined a blog group. I could really use the blog points for my final grade and I have this pretty rad blog written up on the Kakapo parrot. I think the parrot provides and interesting case study for the development of flightless birds and relates to your blog group topic.

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