Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Chimps and People, major differences after all....

Not withstanding the current absurd levels of political shenanigans, many people thought that there had to be greater differences between humans and other primates than those identified by sequencing the genes encoding various proteins.  Now it appears the differences lie in the regulatory regions, and involve large duplications and deletions of genomic DNA that influence gene expression (and perhaps act in part as a species barrier - you have to wait until the Life cycle section to get this).        Previously this group suggested that the "propensity for cancer in humans versus chimpanzees may have been a by-product of selection for increased brain size in humans."  Ah Well, if true it supports the idea that there is no free lunch (or brain).  (image from Olson & Varki 2003.)

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