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June 25 2013

Two genetic code tweaks 500 million years ago caused evolutionary jump


Modern day reproductive systems are the result of changes in two letters of genetic code that took place 500 million years ago, a team of geneticists has discovered.

"If those two mutations had not happened, our bodies today would have to use different mechanisms to regulate pregnancy, libido, the response to stress, kidney function, inflammation, and the development of male and female characteristics at puberty," Joe Thornton, a professor of human genetics, ecology and evolution at the University of Chicago, said in a statement.

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