Genetic study finds brain most similar to testes?

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AVEIRO, Portugal – For men who spend too much time thinking of the opposite sex, they are often accused of “thinking with the wrong head”. Ironically, a new study reveals that when it comes to the human brain, the organ it shares most in common with are actually the testes.

Portuguese researchers say a man’s brain and lower regions have a remarkable number of genetic similarities. Oddly enough, this isn’t the first time scientists have suspected that the brain and testes have more in common than they seem. In fact, a previous study found that the quality of semen can positively affect intelligence in men.

In this report, a team from the University of Aveiro looked at proteins in 33 different tissue types. These included samples from the heart, intestine, cervix, ovaries and placenta.

“Surprisingly, the human brain and testes have the highest number of common proteins, compared to other tissues in the human body,” the researchers explain in the journal. Royal Society of Open Biology.

Not only are these two regions similar, they are virtually identical! The study found that the human brain is made up of 14,315 different proteins, while the testis has 15,687. After comparing the two tissues, the study’s authors found that they shared 13,442 narcotic proteins. . The researchers also took a closer look at the different genes throughout the body and found that these two genes were also similar.

“A large-scale analysis of the expression of 33,689 genes in 15 human tissues revealed that the human brain and testes share the greatest similarity in gene expression,” the team writes.

The brain, the testicles even have the same barrier to keep them healthy

Although the brain spends its day working hard at thinking and the testes await sex, the researchers note that both have extremely high energy needs. Because of these energy needs, both are very vulnerable to oxidative stress – the imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body that can damage cells and tissues.

To defend against this, the study finds that both areas have created their own blood barrier to keep harmful substances out. In the case of the blood-brain barrier, this protective layer prevents toxic elements from reaching brain tissue. For the blood-testicular barrier, this shield is a vital part of male fertility.

As for how the brain and “balls” have become so similar, the study’s authors suspect that a process called speciation may have something to do with it. Simply put, it is the process by which new species are formed during evolution. Researchers believe that the same pressures of natural selection that created modern humans in the first place have also helped shape the evolution of the brain and testes.

“This is an under-explored subject, and the link between these tissues needs to be clarified, which could help to understand the dysfunctions affecting the brain and testes,” note the researchers.

Plus, for women who think it’s just a male oddity, researchers are finding that female brains share this bullet quality as well.


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