September 12, 2019
One in ten of us is left-handed, but what causes this difference? Previous studies involving twins have shown a genetic component, although the specifics were not known until now.
A team of researchers form the University of Oxford used genetic information from 400,000 people that were stored by the UK Biobank. Of this sample of people 38,000 were left-handed. The team set about finding the differences in the DNA of the right- and left-handed people and were able to find four hotspots.
These mutations were in areas of the genome that encode the instructions for building the internal scaffolding, known as the cytoskeleton, of the cells. These changes to the cytoskeleton in turn altered the structure of the white matter of the brain, and these changes were visible on brain scans.
The team revealed that the left-handed participants had brains with more connected left and right hemispheres in the brain, and more coordination in the areas of the brain associated with language. This has led the team to propose that left-handed people may have better language skills, which will require further investigation. Although, given Mark Twain, Bob Dylan, Lewis Carroll and Hans Christian Anderson were all left-handed, maybe they are onto something?
Read more: http://ow.ly/U6R450vYmsu