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Of Worms and Men

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  • Ian Pitchford
    FEED February 26 2001 Of Worms and Men THE RECENT ANNOUNCEMENT that the human genome contains approximately 30,000 genes, rather than the previously estimated
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 2, 2001
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      FEED
      February 26 2001

      Of Worms and Men

      THE RECENT ANNOUNCEMENT that the human genome contains approximately 30,000
      genes, rather than the previously estimated 100,000, took the world by
      surprise. In the days following, much was made of humanity's "new" relationship
      with the worm, which, with approximately 20,000 genes, has only 10,000 fewer
      than us. To many commentators, it seemed that our position at the center of the
      genetic universe was being overturned. In addition to this newfound and much
      ballyhooed humility, the first draft sequencing of the human genome has raised
      many questions that will impact the development of medicine, agriculture,
      evolutionary studies, and perhaps even the nature of science for years to come.
      Right now, some of the most important questions coalesce around the surprise
      over the gene number itself.

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