NYT: Mice Squeak

In a region of the brain called the basal ganglia, known in people to be involved in language, the humanized mice grew nerve cells that had a more complex structure and produced less dopamine, a chemical that transmits signals from one neuron to another. Baby mice utter ultrasonic whistles when removed from their mothers. The humanized baby mice, when isolated, made whistles that had a slightly lower pitch, among other differences, Dr. Enard says. Discovering that humanized mice whistle differently may seem a long way from understanding how language evolved. Dr. Enard argues that putting significant human genes into mice is the only feasible way of exploring the essential differences between people and chimps, our closest living relatives.

via Human Language Gene Changes How Mice Squeak – NYTimes.com.

If your students do not study evolution and biology RIGOROUSLY, with experimentation and species identification and gene sequencing, your school is failing their future.

Plant a humanized language gene in a mouse, and the mouse sounds different.  Plant a different DNA sequence in the mouse’s skin cells, and it grows an ear.  Or regrows its hair.

This stuff is real, it’s important, and in order to be able to make it work you have to buy into the basic reality of evolution.  The next great economic boom in the world will be connected to unlocking biology and making these realities medically practicable.   

So why is your school still reading about biology, instead of doing it?

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