Ten years ago this month, a team of University of Oxford scientists published a description of a family who struggled with words. By comparing their DNA, the scientists zeroed in for the first time on a gene associated with language, dubbed FOXP2. In my newest column in Discover, I look back at what scientists have learned over the past decade about how FOXP2 works, and what it tells us–or leaves us wondering–about how language evolved. Check it out.

Originally published October 17, 2011. Copyright 2011 Carl Zimmer.