Belgian Professor Pierre Vanderhaeghen (ULB) and his team at the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research have discovered a gene essential for the development of the human brain during evolution, CROCCP2, they announced on Friday via of press release. This discovery could help to better understand different types of brain disorders.
The human brain has played a central role in the evolution of human beings and over time has become an extremely complex organ composed of different regions with specific functions associated with them. This complexity would be linked to the presence of many types of complex brain cells capable of rapidly duplicating themselves. Human-specific genes also played an important role in this process, the scientists say. Among these is CROCCP2, which researchers previously thought to be inactive.
It is actually strongly present in the human brain and would be at the origin of the great diversity of brain cells. In addition, it would be very active in the brain of the human fetus, according to researchers Roxane Van Heurck and Jerome Bonnefont. It also plays an essential role for the area of the brain responsible for the high cognitive potential that characterizes our species.