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PLoS Biology | www.plosbiology.org 0141 February 2007 | Volume 5 | Issue 2 | e55

Summary: PLoS Biology | www.plosbiology.org 0141
February 2007 | Volume 5 | Issue 2 | e55
hose of us who study alternative splicing like to think
it is the driving force behind the rapid evolution of
human nature. Of course, we could be wrong, but
what other explanation can account for the amazing increase
in complexity and capability of the human species without a
corresponding increase in gene number? Humans have an
estimated 20,00025,000 protein-coding genes, compared
to about 19,200 for worms. Are we simply very smart worms?
Our complexity is most evident (to us) in that most special
of special human features, the brain. How did only 5 million
years of evolution squeeze so much out of the primate
genome so quickly?
Perhaps it is not so much the written poem, but the
reading that matters. While it is true that RNA polymerase
controls what part of the genome to read and when, it is
the spliceosome and its splicing factors--the machinery


Source: Ares Jr., Manny - Department of Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology, University of California at Santa Cruz


Collections: Biology and Medicine