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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Chimps all a bunch of Homos?
    #1563814 - 05/20/03 08:54 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

Study: Chimps Belong In Human Genus
By Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/briefs/20030519/chimp.html

May 20, 2003 ? Chimpanzees share 99.4 percent of functionally important DNA with humans and belong in our genus, Homo, according to a recent genetic study.

Previous studies put the genetic similarity between humans and chimps at 95 to 99 percent, so the new figure suggests chimps and humans are even more closely related than previously thought.

Scientists analyzed 97 human genes, along with comparable sequences from chimps, gorillas, orangutans and Old World monkeys (a group that includes baboons and macaques).

The chosen genes are considered to be "functionally important" because they code for proteins, meaning that they can change amino acids in the body.

The researchers then took the DNA data and estimated genetic evolution over time. They determined that humans and chimps shared a common ancestor between 4 and 7 million years ago. That ancestor diverged from gorillas 6 to 7 million years ago.

The findings are published in the current Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

According to Morris Goodman, one of the paper's authors and a professor of anatomy at Wayne State University School of Medicine, and his colleagues, the DNA information, combined with the ancestral links, should result in a new family tree, with the genus Homo including humans, common chimpanzees, and bonobo chimpanzees. Chimps are currently classified in the genus Pan.

"Chimps are more like a human than a gorilla," said Goodman. "The traditional classifications need revising because, as scientists, we've been working under antiquated notions, such as Aristotle's 'Great Chain of Being,' in which animals were arranged in scales according to their degrees of 'perfection' beneath humans."

Goodman added, "In terms of culture, social behavior, language and other factors, we share many things in common with chimpanzees."

His colleague, Derek Wildman, agreed. "A lot of work focuses on the differences between chimps and humans," Wildman explained. "In reality we are quite similar to them."

Reaction from other scientists was mixed.

Both Todd Preuss, associate research professor in the Center of Behavioral Neuroscience at Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University, and Michael Mahaney, a scientist in the Department of Genetics at the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research in Texas, believe that current genetic data should not be the only consideration for taxonomic classification.

Mahaney said, "We must consider a whole slew of characteristics, including behavioral evaluations, biological factors, distribution and morphology, in addition to underlying DNA."

They say further research is needed before any changes are made to our family tree.

Nona Gandelman of the Jane Goodall Institute hopes the PNAS paper will remind us that "chimpanzees are our closest living relatives. We should show them compassion."

Roger Fouts, co-director of the Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute at Central Washington University, agrees with Goodman that chimps belong in our genus.

"Richard Dawkins perhaps provided the best visual for our link to chimps," Fouts told Discovery News. "Imagine taking the hand of your grandmother, who was holding the hand of her grandmother and so on down the line. 155 miles out, one of the women would be holding the hand of a chimpanzee."



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InvisiblePapaverS
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Re: Chimps all a bunch of Homos? [Re: Baby_Hitler]
    #1563830 - 05/20/03 09:05 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

I already knew this. Haven't you seen our crap throwing behavior in OTD? :wink:


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OfflineMurex
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Re: Chimps all a bunch of Homos? [Re: Papaver]
    #1563853 - 05/20/03 09:19 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)


LOL!

Good read btw.


--------------------
What if everything around you
Isn't quite as it seems?
What if all the world you think you know,
Is an elaborate dream?
And if you look at your reflection,
Is it all you want it to be?



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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: Chimps all a bunch of Homos? [Re: Papaver]
    #1563887 - 05/20/03 09:33 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

I've just bought a weight set. My arms are too limp to work a mouse and keyboard, much less throw crap right now.


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InvisiblePapaverS
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Re: Chimps all a bunch of Homos? [Re: Murex]
    #1563899 - 05/20/03 09:39 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

Yeah, it was a good read. It's amazing how biological science in the past forty years has changed our world view, both in terms of our relationship to animals, and in terms of how much more common life is on earth, and could be in the universe. :cool:

I still eat animals, but I feel a little more guilty about it. I can't wait for the day when we all eat Soylent Green? instead. Soylent Green? is made from the best stuff on earth -- people! And I wouldn't feel do guilty about eating that... :laugh:


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OfflineSeussA
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Re: Chimps all a bunch of Homos? [Re: Baby_Hitler]
    #1566588 - 05/21/03 06:28 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Previous studies put the genetic similarity between humans and chimps at 95 to 99 percent, so the new figure suggests chimps and humans are even more closely related than previously thought.




I would disagree with this. After finishing the sequence for the human genome, we were very surprised to find far fewer genes than we expected. Even more surprising were the number of genes that we have in common with very different organisms such as the common fruit fly. Until we understand the different ways in which a single gene can be expressed, we cannot equate the commonality of two different species.

Using the MD5 one-way hash as an analogy: If we take the hash of a 1-MB file and then take the hash of that same file with a single bit changed (1 part in 8 million different), the two hashes are completly different. Just because the genes going into the engine are 95% the same, the workers that are squeezed out can be completly different.


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Just another spore in the wind.


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OfflineUrQuattro
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Re: Chimps all a bunch of Homos? [Re: Seuss]
    #1567520 - 05/21/03 11:40 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

the whole point is that it is the percentage of vital, functional genes that makes the difference here...

with flies, etc etc... we share alot, but not nearly as many as the vital ones that they allude to in the article.


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True wisdom is the knowledge that nothing is impossible except for absolute knowledge.


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InvisiblePapaverS
Madmin Emeritus?

Registered: 06/01/02
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Re: Chimps all a bunch of Homos? [Re: Seuss]
    #1567983 - 05/22/03 02:18 AM (13 years, 6 months ago)

I do agree with Suess that we really don't know enough yet to make these sort of definitive and sweeping claims. There are many areas where we lack even a tiny piece of true understanding, so we should not assume that we really know all there is to know. Among these areas are:

1) The exponential complexity of the proteomic extension of the genome.
2) The current undecypherability of so-called "Junk DNA," and it's true role, if any.
3) An understanding of stem cell differentiation in fetal development, as driven by nearest neighbor protein interaction.

These are just a few areas where we have just begun to poke around in the dark. The knowledge base, the tools, and methodologies, are still woefully inadequate to truly understand these topics.

However, I do think that the biological sciences of the past decades have done much to move us away from that old binary paradigm that animals are absolutely different from us. That they are unintelligent, unfeeling, and therefor free for us to exploit without conscience. In many ways we are just beginning our journey for knowledge and understanding, so we should not be too proud of our "smarts" just yet...

That being said, I still like my beef cow! Moo! :grin:

EDIT: Oh, and yes, UrQuattro is right too! It's about compairing the sequences of known genes in the genome, and the fact that some organisms are much closer to us then others.

Genomics is currently re-defining the field taxonomy, and I think it's doing a hell of a job! :cool:


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Edited by papaver (05/22/03 02:24 AM)


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InvisibleRebelSteve33
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Re: Chimps all a bunch of Homos? [Re: Baby_Hitler]
    #1568121 - 05/22/03 03:03 AM (13 years, 6 months ago)

Neat! :smile:

I love Biology.


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Namaste.


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