Researchers have finally identified the DNA instructions linked to being left-handed. Also, the scientists revealed that this genetic information plays a role in altering brain structure and functions. But that’s not a bad thing, after all, as the new study showed.
One in ten people is left-handed, so it might seem that being left-handed is a rare thing. However, the new study conducted by scientists from the University of Oxford showed that being left-handed is more like a gift. And that because the left-handed DNA instructions change the brain structure and functions, improving the verbal skills.
This study is the first one to unfold the mysteries behind being left-handed. But there are still many pieces of the puzzle that remain unknown. Just now, the researchers found out the specific DNA instructions that make someone left-handed, so they are on the right track to solve this puzzle, scientifically.
Left-Handed DNA Instructions Alter Brain Structure And Functions
The scientists from the University of Oxford used the UK Biobank data on 400,000 people, out of who, there were only 38,000 left-handed people. Then, the researchers compared DNA data from right-handed folks in the study with the others to find the specific DNA regions that cause left-handedness. They spotted mutations in the intricate “scaffolding” instructions that organize the cytoskeleton (the inside of the cells).
“For the first time in humans, we have been able to establish that these handedness-associated cytoskeletal differences are actually visible in the brain,” explained Dr. Gwenaëlle Douaud, one of the scientists who participated in the study. The researcher added that the left and right hemispheres of the brain are much better connected and coordinated in left-handed people in regions linked to language and verbal skills.
“In many cultures, being left-handed is seen as being unlucky or malicious, and that is reflected in language. What this study shows is that being left-handed is just a consequence of the developmental biology of the brain, and it has nothing to do with luck or maliciousness. And it is driven at least in part by genetic variants we’ve discovered. This adds to the understanding of what makes us human,” said Professor Dominic Furniss, also one of the authors of the new study.