Good morning all,
Hot off of the presses - new information on the genetic basis of avian migratory behavior, a topic we have considered in class. Here, researchers believe that they have identified a single gene on one of the avian sex chromosomes that is linked to specific migratory targeting in warbler species of conservation concern. Interestingly, this avian gene is related to a human gene thought to be associated with movement.
This is a good example of the current state of much of the study between genetics and behavior. Through large-scale genomic analyses, it is possible to identify associations (correlations) between individual gene variants and particular aspects of behavior, but there is much to be learned "in the middle" - how does any one gene, and its gene product, mechanistically contribute to behavior? Or is the association identified in first-order analyses spurious, or non-causal? There is plenty of room for further work, as these researchers note.
Good luck with all of your remaining exams -
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