Comment on "Ongoing adaptive evolution of ASPM, a brain size determinant in Homo sapiens" and "Microcephalin, a gene regulating brain size, continues to evolve adaptively in humans"

Science. 2006 Jul 14;313(5784):172; author reply 172. doi: 10.1126/science.1122712.


Mekel-Bobrov et al. and Evans et al. (Reports, 9 Sept. 2005, p. 1720 and p. 1717, respectively) examined sequence data from modern humans within two gene regions associated with brain development, ASPM and microcephalin, and concluded that selection of these genes must be ongoing. We show that models of human history that include both population growth and spatial structure can generate the observed patterns without selection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Biological
  • Biological Evolution
  • Brain
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Demography
  • Founder Effect
  • Gene Frequency
  • Haplotypes*
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics*
  • Organ Size
  • Population Density
  • Population Growth*
  • Selection, Genetic
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA*


  • ASPM protein, human
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • MCPH1 protein, human
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins