Where do humans come from? How do we function? What makes us so special? These are the questions that absorbed Prof. Albrecht Sippel at the University of Freiburg during his time as a biology student. And the same questions have remained on a backburner throughout his exciting career as a researcher. After years of directing his focus more on the molecular processes in the development of different cell types, he has gone back to his roots. Despite his retirement six months ago, Sippel started to actively participate in the search for human genes in the faculties of thought and speech that distinguish us from our animal relatives.