London: Scientists have found compelling evidence that parts of the brain can evolve independently from each other and overall brain size is not linked to an individual`s body size. Researchers from the University of Manchester, the University of Tennessee and Harvard Medical School in a 15 year study also identified several genetic loci that control the size of different brain parts. The study aimed to find out if different parts of the brain can respond independently of each other to evolutionary stimulus (mosaic evolution) or whether the brain responds as a whole (concerted evolution). Unlike previous studies the researchers compared the brain measurements within just one species. The brains of approximately 10,000 mice were analysed. Seven individual parts of each brain were measured by volume and weight. The entire genome, except the Y chromosome, was scanned for each animal and the gene set for each brain part identified.
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