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Songbird DNA May Offer Clues to Human Speech - April 2, 2010

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[Source: National Public Radio]

The genetic code of a small, noisy songbird is providing scientists with clues to the nature of human speech.

The genome of the male zebra finch devotes a lot of genetic code to hearing and singing songs, according to an analysis in the journal Nature. Much of that code controls brain circuits that are similar to the circuits people use for vocal learning.

"There are striking parallels," says David Clayton, from the Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Listen to the NPR Story

Tags: 2 April 2010 News of the Week Newsletter SLP