HAR1 – a “human” gene?

I’m not sure why I didn’t note this before – it was announced and published online about a month ago. Anyway, the paper is now out in Nature, see also News & Views and the editor’s summary.

It’s a nice piece of work, combining computational and lab biology to identify areas of the human genome that have evolved rapidly compared with chimps. They’ve identified an RNA gene which is expressed in developing neurons and speculate on its role in human brain-specific biology. Looks like the people who decided that non-protein coding genes are where the action is were right.