Macaque chimp human genes aligned

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Macaque chimp human genes aligned

Postby Chris Sergeant » Thu Sep 17, 2009 12:41 pm

To summarise:
- An international consortium of researchers has published the genome sequence of the rhesus macaque monkey and aligned it with the chimpanzee and human genomes.
- "This study of the rhesus genome is invaluable because it gives researchers a perspective to observe what has been added or deleted in each primate genome during evolution of rhesus, chimp, and the human from their common ancestors ," said Richard Gibbs.
- Chimps are so genetically close to people that it's been difficult to tell whether a similarity indicates a sequence valuable enough to persist through evolutionary history or just a happenstance of a shared family background. The macaque's extra bit of difference could help scientists make that distinction, says Gibbs.
- Identified nearly 200 genes likely to be key players in determining differences among primate species. . . Many of these genes are located in areas of the primate genome that have been subject to duplication, indicating that having an extra copy of a gene may enable it to evolve more rapidly and that small duplications are a key feature of primate evolution.
- Chimps share 98 percent of their DNA with people. The consortium reports in the April 13 Science that 93 percent of the macaque genome resembles that of people and chimps.
(will be based on single base substitutions).
- Covers about 98 percent of the macaque's genome.
- As in the human and chimp genomes, about half the DNA consists of genetic elements that don't encode proteins and can insert extra copies of themselves.
- The new sequence information already indicates that some normal macaque genes look like human versions associated with diseases. For example, macaque versions of several enzyme genes look like ones that cause phenylketonuria, a condition that causes mental retardation in people.
- "The sequencing of the rhesus macaque genome, combined with the availability of the chimp and human genomes, provides researchers with another powerful tool to advance our understanding of human biology in health and disease," said NHGRI Director Francis S. Collins. ... n19053134/
Chris Sergeant
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