Humans' Big Brains Tied To Chimps' Immunity?
It's a provocative — even astonishing — hypothesis: Could the same set of genes that explains why chimpanzees are protected from some diseases also explain why humans have big brains?
That's what researchers at Stanford University are suggesting.
The genes in question control a type of white blood cell known as natural killer cells, or NK cells.
"They can make a big difference as to whether you get sick, or you don't get sick," says Peter Parham, a professor of cell biology at Stanford. Parham has been studying the genes that control NK cells. And it's not a simple picture — there are a lot of genes involved.
Read the rest of this short article on NPR.