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Home > Screenings > Autentic Distribution > Human by Chance? - The Gene That Made Our Brain Grow


Producer: Hoferichter & Jacobs, MDR

Genres: Documentary

Human by Chance? - The Gene That Made Our Brain Grow

Autentic Distribution

The Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden seems to have found answers to this phenomenon. For the first time in history, a research team succeeded in making embryonic brains of marmosets grow by using the human-specific gene ARHGAP11B. The team led by Dr. Wieland Huttner has not only discovered the reason for our larger brains, but has also discovered that humans owe their tremendous cognitive abilities to a coincidence. This coincidence is a point mutation that occurred hundreds of thousands of years ago in one of our early ancestors, on this exact gene. When could this random mutation have taken place? Whom did it affect? Which factors caused it? What developments have been promoted by this?
In the run-up of the latest publications, the MDR team accompanied neuroscientists Dr. Wieland Huttner and his research team on their journey to find answers. The film presents the decisive moments of their groundbreaking study and illustrates the current research results. The results are supplemented by the insights of Primatologist Dr. Roman Wittig, evolutionary researcher Dr. Philipp Gunz from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Professor of Comparative Developmental Psychology and neuroscientist Dr. Katja Liebal, and bestselling author and scientist Dr. Franca Parianen. Learn about the special features of ARHGAP11B and discover the secrets to our advanced brains and predominance on earth.

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