Our main line of research is centered on the discovery of the extent of all kinds of genome variation within phenotypically different genomes. Specifically, we study genome variation (centered on CNVs), gene expression and epigenetic differences in the human species in the context of great ape evolution and other mammalian genomes such as canids. Our goal is to create an integrated view of genome evolution by studying changes in the composition, frequency, size and location at every major branch point of recent human evolution.
Genomic variation in ape genomes
Characterizing the variation of thousands of human genomes is standard today. However, primates (our closest relatives) are the ideal set of species for studying the evolution of these features from both mechanistic and adaptive points of view. In this line of research, we use genomic approaches in humans and primates to understand the impact of variants in the evolution of every species to provide a proper perspective to the differences among species.
Epigenetics and transcriptomics of non-human primates
DNA methylation is an epigenetic modification involved in regulatory processes such as cell differentiation during development, X-chromosome inactivation, genomic imprinting and susceptibility to complex disease. However, the dynamics of DNA methylation changes between humans and their closest relatives is still poorly understood. In this project, we evaluate methylation patterns in recent human evolution. We identified a significant positive relationship between the rate of coding variation and alterations of methylation at the promoter level.
The domestic dog has been widely recognized as an important organism for studying the relationship between selection, genome variation and phenotypic diversity. Both dogs and wolves have been extensively surveyed using mtDNA, microsatellites and SNPs, but structural variation, including variation in multicopy gene families, has not been fully characterized in canines.
Lab website: Comparative Genomics Lab
Nam, K.; Munch, K.; Mailund, T.; Nater, A.; Greminger, M.P.; Krützen, M.; Marquès-Bonet, T.; Schierup, M.H. 2017. Evidence that the rate of strong selective sweeps increases with population size in the great apes. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. pii: 201605660. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1605660114. [Epub ahead of print]
On the publication of Molecular and cellular reorganization of neural circuits in the human lineage. Science, November 2017, with the participation of Tomàs Marquès-Bonet, Raquel Garcia and Tiago Carvalho, researchers at IBE.
24th November 2017:
Sí, en el cerebro está lo que nos hace únicos, EFE ciencia
Un estudio compara muestras de tejido cerebral de humanos, chimpancés y macacos, National Geographic
El cerebro es lo que más nos distingue de los primates, Muy interesante
El cerebro es el órgano que da identidad a nuestra especie, El Comercio Perú
On the publication of the paper Nater, A. et al (2017). Morphometric, behavioral, and genomic evidence for a new orangutan species, with the participation of Tomàs Marquès-Bonet. Current Biology. DOI:10.1016/j.cub.2017.09.047
6th November 2017:
"Una nueva especie de orangután descubierta en Sumatra está casi extinta", Noticias de la Ciencia y la Tecnología
4th November 2017:
"Descoberta a Sumatra una nova espècie de gran simi", ARA Ciència
3rd November 2017:
"Descrita una nueva especie de orangután en Sumatra", La Vanguardia
"El orangután descubierto «in extremis»", La Razón
"El tercer orangután", El Periódico Extremadura
"El tercer orangután", El Periódico Aragón