Friday, December 22, 2006

One more round

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Categories : Science

Editor :

published: vendredi 22 décembre 2006 16:05:53

of Science News for the year.

Science continues to uncover fascinating features of our biotic reality. In one study, we again see the crucial role of gene duplication in the evolution of humans:

"After surveying gene families that are common to both humans and chimps, we observed in the human genome a significant increase in the duplication of various genes, including some that influence brain functions. This may provide new information about what it means to be human," says Nello Cristianini, Professor of Artificial Intelligence at Bristol University, who statistically analysed the data with specially created software tools. The results support mounting evidence that the simple duplication and loss of genes has played a bigger role in our evolution than changes within single genes…..humans have gained 689 genes (through the duplication of existing genes) and lost 86 genes since diverging from their most recent common ancestor with chimps. Including the 729 genes chimps appear to have lost since their divergence, the total gene differences between humans and chimps was estimated to be about 6 percent.

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