Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

How Jumping Genes Drove Primate Evolution


Image: iStockphoto

By Keith Oliver & Wayne Greene

Jumping genes have been important in the evolution of higher primates, leading to faster brain function, improved foetal nourishment, useful red-green colour discrimination and greater resistance to disease-causing microbes – and even the loss of fat storage genes in gibbons.

Keith Oliver is a biologist and philosopher in the School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology and Wayne Greene is Associate Professor of Molecular Genetics in the School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences at Murdoch University.

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