Human evolution: the non-coding revolution

BMC Biol. 2017 Oct 2;15(1):89. doi: 10.1186/s12915-017-0428-9.


What made us human? Gene expression changes clearly played a significant part in human evolution, but pinpointing the causal regulatory mutations is hard. Comparative genomics enabled the identification of human accelerated regions (HARs) and other human-specific genome sequences. The major challenge in the past decade has been to link diverged sequences to uniquely human biology. This review discusses approaches to this problem, progress made at the molecular level, and prospects for moving towards genetic causes for uniquely human biology.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Genome, Human*
  • Genomics*
  • Humans