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Some genes just won't stay dead. Between 40 million and 50 million years ago, a slice of DNA called IRGM stopped functioning in the ancestors of modern-day monkeys. But 25 million years later, in the lineage that led to humans and great apes, three random events turned the gene back on.
In mammals such as rats and dogs, IRGM (immunity-related GTPase family, M) helps protect from bacterial pathogens such as salmonella. Humans and apes also appear to use the gene.