Il gene che ha permesso all’uomo di diventare Sapiens

Ora conosciamo il gene che ha permesso all’uomo di diventare improvvisamente Sapiens.
Un gene che non sembra essere il risultato di un procedimento evolutivo ma di un innesto improvviso.

Due anni fa è passata abbastanza sotto silenzio la notizia che un team di ricercatori dell’Istituto di Genetica e Medicina Molecolare dell’Università di Edimburgo, guidati dal dr. Martin Taylor, ha scoperto nel Dna umano un gene importantissimo che sarebbe legato allo sviluppo cerebrale e che avrebbe la peculiarità di appartenere solo ed esclusivamente al genere umano.
L’altra particolarità di quello che potrebbe essere definito il “Santo Graal” per decifrare finalmente il mistero dell’evoluzione umana, è che questo gene, quando emerse all’improvviso più di un milione di anni fa, e per giunta in un arco di tempo incredibilmente breve, era già perfettamente operativo e discendeva da Dna non codificante.
In pratica lo abbiamo semplicemente trovato inserito all’interno di quel materiale che la scienza definisce in modo un po’ grezzo ma efficace “spazzatura” genetica, le cui funzioni, assolutamente ridondanti, sono a tutt’oggi avvolte dal mistero.
Ricordiamo che i filamenti del Dna, quando subiscono il procedimento di cosiddetta “trascrizione”, vengono ricopiati nei corrispondenti filamenti di Rna, ovvero l’Acido Ribonucleico, un polimero organico chimicamente molto simile al Dna, che di questo, potremmo dire, ne è il fedele messaggero in quanto ha proprio la precisa funzione di trascriverne l’informazione genetica.
Si dice quindi Dna non codificante ogni sequenza di Dna in un genoma non soggetta alla suddetta trascrizione in Rna e quindi apparentemente senza alcuna immediata utilità pratica.
Secondo gli studiosi scozzesi il gene miR-941 sarebbe comparso dopo la presunta divisione tra scimpanzè e uomo in un macro periodo che ipoteticamente va dai 6 milioni ad un milione di anni fa.
Questo gene, dalle origini assolutamente sconosciute, avrebbe in pratica dato un’accelerazione fantastica al processo cognitivo del nostro cervello permettendogli di migliorare in modo clamoroso le sue capacità linguistiche e i propri procedimenti decisionali.
In parole povere, senza questo gene noi ora saremmo ancora fermi allo stato evolutivo di ominidi o giù di lì.
Questa scoperta dalle conseguenze inimmaginabili andrebbe comunque inserita in modo corretto e congruo nel complesso percorso-labirinto della ricerca sul mistero dell’origine dell’umanità.
Ora noi sappiamo che ad un certo punto, qualcuno dice 200.000 anni fa, ma le ultime ricerche tendono a far risalire l’origine a 800.000 anni più indietro, ha incominciato a vivere sulla terra l’Homo Sapiens, che ha rappresentato, rispetto ai suoi predecessori, un salto quantico quasi inconcepibile.
Dalle ultime recenti ricerche sembrerebbe poi che lo stesso Homo Sapiens e il suo cugino prossimo l’Uomo di Neanderthal, non siano stati il risultato dell’evoluzione diretta dall’Homo Erectus, dall’Homo Abilis e dall’Homo Rudolfensis, loro predecessori, ma un qualcosa di totalmente differente e autonomo.
Va detto poi come lo stesso Homo Sapiens si sia definitivamente evoluto, in pratica abbia fatto il salto definitivo che lo avrebbe portato alla civiltà, soltanto 50.000 anni fa, nel periodo che corrisponde grosso modo al Paleolitico Superiore, dopo che lo stesso Uomo di Neanderthal era improvvisamente scomparso dalla faccia della terra.
Oltre al gene Mir-941 un altro aspetto che ha reso possibile nell’uomo lo sviluppo quasi improvviso del linguaggio e quindi il conseguente pensiero simbolico e religioso insieme alla coscienza di sé stesso, è stato, a livello anatomico, l’abbassamento della laringe che, grazie al conseguente allungamento del tratto faringeo, ha permesso la propagazione del suono tramite le corde vocali, cosa impossibile al resto degli esseri viventi che popolano la terra.
Una modificazione strutturale quasi improvvisa, forse in qualche modo derivante dallo stesso innesto del gene miR-941, che ha comportato in sé anche un grandissimo rischio: quello di farci morire soffocati, perché l’uomo adulto, proprio a causa dell’abbassamento laringeo, non può degluttire e respirare nello stesso momento così come invece riesce a fare un neonato nel quale appunto la laringe non si è ancora abbassata.

Di sicuro, comunque, ora sappiamo che qualcosa di incredibile e di clamoroso ha avuto luogo ad un certo punto della nostra storia, una modificazione genetica, un’aggiunta pescata dal “kit” che il nostro Dna aveva a disposizione nel suo “zaino” e che sembrerebbe essere il frutto di un preciso progetto piuttosto che di un casuale e prolungato processo evolutivo.
Un “inserimento” non arrivato verticalmente in seguito ad un lento lavorio di trasformazione ma bensì orizzontalmente, non si sa bene ad opera di chi, che ha modificato il Dna umano a tal punto da proiettare il cervello umano verso l’autocoscienza di sé ma soprattutto verso la conoscenza di un Qualcuno a cui dobbiamo la nostra identità e forse la nostra stessa esistenza.
In questo possiamo dire effettivamente che, se esiste un regno dei cieli, questo effettivamente si trova dentro noi stessi ed è quello che forse ci fa essere a…immagine e somiglianza del nostro stesso “ideatore”.

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