In a large-scale study, molecular biologists from Heidelberg led by Henrik Kaessmann investigated RNA synthesis and subsequent protein synthesis in human organs and other selected mammals. In doing so, they were able to show that the finely tuned interplay of the two synthesis processes has been crucial for the development of organ functions in the course of evolution - and thus performed pioneering work. They examined genetic material in various organs in different mammals, including humans, monkeys, mice, opossums, platypuses and chickens. The lecture will discuss which organs have evolved particularly quickly and, more importantly, have been optimized, and what similarities and differences we humans actually have with other mammals.
Henrik Kaessmann is a professor of evolutionary genomics at the University of Heidelberg. His research focuses on the molecular basis of organ development in mammals, revealing ancient and species-specific gene programs, mutational mechanisms, and forces of natural selection.
As part of the International Science Festival - Geist Heidelberg
The molecular evolution of humans and other mammals.