Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Gene for Left-Handedness

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Gene for Left-Handedness

Article excerpt

An international group of scientists, led by a team from the Welcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics at Oxford University, has discovered a gene that increases an individual's chances of being left-handed.

Known as LRRTM1, the gene is the first to be discovered that has an effect on handedness. Although little is known about LRRTM1, the Oxford research team suspects that the gene modifies the development of asymmetry in the human brain. Asymmetry is an important feature of the human brain, with the left side usually controlling speech and language, and the right side controlling emotion. In lefthanders, this pattern is often reversed. There is also evidence that asymmetry of the brain was an important feature during human evolution; the brains of our closest relatives, apes, are more symmetrical than those of humans, and apes do not show a strong handedness.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The researchers also discovered that LRRTMI might slightly increase the risk of developing schizophrenia--a brain disorder that affects approximately 1% of adults worldwide. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.