Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

News Item - Chimpanzee Genome Unveiled

Expand Messages
  • Todd S. Greene
    From: http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm? chanID=sa003&articleID=000CFF1A-0D11-1316-8D1183414B7F0000 [link is line-wrapped] [go to linked page for full article]
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 1, 2005
    • 0 Attachment
      From:
      http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?
      chanID=sa003&articleID=000CFF1A-0D11-1316-8D1183414B7F0000
      [link is line-wrapped]
      [go to linked page for full article]

      ----------------------------------------------------------------

      Chimp Genome — and First Fossils — Unveiled
      (Scientific American, 9/1/05)

      Many animals, ranging from the rat to the puffer fish, have had
      their genome sequenced, and now humankind's closest living relative,
      the chimpanzee, has joined the group. The publication of a draft
      sequence of the animal's genome, today in the journal Nature
      provides the most detailed look yet at the similarities, and
      differences, between humans and chimps.

      The Chimpanzee Sequencing and Analysis Consortium, made up of 67
      scientists from around the world, set out to catalogue the chimp's
      entire genome, which contains some three billion base pairs. The
      researchers studied the DNA of Clint, a male chimp that lived at the
      Yerkes National Primate Research Center in Atlanta, Ga., until he
      passed away at the age of 24. Using the shotgun sequencing approach,
      they mapped 94 percent of the genome with a high degree of
      certainty, covering some parts of the sequence three or four times.

      The scientists compared the chimp genome to the human one, focusing
      on points at which the two differ. When considering substitutions of
      one base pair for another, the results indicate that about 1.2
      percent of the genomes are different, which agrees with past
      estimations that chimps and humans share upwards of 98.5 percent of
      their DNA. But when the investigators considered duplications and
      rearrangements of larger sections of the genetic code as well, they
      found an additional 2.7 percent difference between the two genetic
      blueprints. "Over the new few years, such a comparison will allow us
      to learn more about how our own genome has evolved and gain a better
      understanding as to why we get cancers and other diseases that
      chimpanzees very rarely suffer," explains Richard K. Wilson of
      Washington University, a co-author on one of the papers.

      Humans are believed to have diverged from chimps between roughly six
      million and seven million years ago. By studying the chimp genome,
      scientists hope to better understand our own biology and what sets
      humans apart. "As more is learned about other functional elements of
      the genome, we anticipate that other important differences outside
      of the protein-coding genes will emerge," remarks co-author LaDeana
      W. Hillier, also at Washington University. So far, the team has
      identified six regions of the human genome that suggest they
      underwent mutations so advantageous that it took just a few hundred
      generations for them to become entrenched in the entire population.
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.