- Not Exactly Rocket Science
The FOXP2 story in New Scientist
Hey folks, I’ve got a feature article in this week’s New Scientist, which is my second for the magazine. The article describes the story of FOXP2, the “language gene” that’s not really a language gene.
The story started a few years ago, when a group of scientists led by Simon Fisher found that a single genetic mutation was responsible for an inherited language disorder in a British family called KE. The gene in question – FOXP2 – was quickly touted as a “gene for language” by an overenthusiastic and sensationalist media.
Since then, researchers have probed the true nature of FOXP2 using disciplines from evolutionary biology to neuroscience to genetics, and species including humans, mice, finches and bats. And amid this growing