Re: Humans and chimps

Annette Dexter (
9 Aug 95 00:40:57 GMT (Opiowade) writes:


>An interesting thing to note, however, is that almost all mammals are 90%
>identical genetically. This is why so much genetic research that benefits
>humans is done on other animals. The genes that affect heart disease in
>dogs, for example, are the same genes responsible for the same ailments in

>In fact, genetically speaking, gorillas are over 99% identical to humans,
>but culturally, we seem to have more in common with chimpanzees. We can't
>mate with gorillas either, by the way.

it seems to me that you are wrong both on the 99% for gorillas
(they are, from my information, around 95% similar to humans; bonobos
and chimps are closest to us at ca. 98%) and on the 90% figure for all
mammals. for example, when one says "the genes for dogs are the same
as the genes for humans" on heart disease, that means that the sets of
genes involved recognizably derive from a common ancestor gene, but the
level of gene _sequence_ identity is certainly less than 100%. outside
the gene coding sequences, the sequence identity drops even more.