More evidence that we are descendants of apes?
Gorillas/Apes are closer to Man-who is to be more ashamed-Man or the Animals?seeing the behaviour of man, one tends to ask.
“The complete sequence of 20,962 genes — extracted from the skin cells of Kamilah, a 34-year-old gorilla who lives at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park — was compiled by an international team of more than 60 researchers who worked on the project for about five years.
“The gorilla genome is important because gorillas are our second-closest living relatives,” said Richard Durbin, senior author of a paper about the discovery published Wednesday in the journal Nature.
By comparing the new gorilla DNA sequence with reference genomes of humans, chimpanzees, orangutans and macaques, scientists have already made a few surprising insights into the crucial periods when we diverged into separate species.
For instance, the new genetic data bolster fossil evidence that gorillas split off as a separate species about 10 million years ago and that humans and chimps parted ways about 6 million years ago. Previous genetic evidence had seemed to point to a more recent split, prompting a contentious debate betweengenetics experts and fossil scholars, said Durbin, who leads the genome informatics group at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Hinxton, England.
“ In decoding the DNA of a western lowland gorilla, scientists made a discovery that may surprise you: Humans and gorillas differ in just 1.75% of their DNA, making our genomes more similar than previously thought. That percentage actually drops to 1.37% when compared to chimpanzees, our closest living relatives—but 15% of the time, gorilla DNA is actually more like human DNA than chimp DNA is, the Los Angeles Times reports. That “tells us that there are individual genes for which, if you want to find the closest sequence to humans, you won’t necessarily look at chimpanzees. In a few cases, you’ll look at gorillas,” says a geneticist.”
- Gorilla DNA unlocks secrets of our species (newscientist.com)