Feeds

The genetic button that could turn a WOMAN into a CHIMPANZEE

Or a man, of course. Just doing our bit for equality

The essential guide to IT transformation

Certain regulatory mechanisms in genes are all that's stopping the human race from turning into monkeys, boffins have found.

Humans share over 90 per cent of their DNA with primates, but mankind has somewhat different biology and behaviour. To get that difference from the same genetic soup, the activity of the genes has to change across different species.

Yoav Gilad, associate professor of human genetics at the University of Chicago, took eight people, eight chimpanzees and eight rhesus monkeys to figure out how that activity changes in each species.

He found that up to 40 per cent of the differences are caused by regulatory mechanisms determine whether and how a gene's recipe for protein is transcribed to the RNA molecule that then carries that recipe on to the sites in cells where proteins are manufactured.

Figuring out what makes a gene turn an animal into a monkey and what makes it turn the same DNA into a person could help to understand genetic variations, which could help in turn to figure out genetic susceptibility to certain diseases people get that monkeys can avoid.

Gilad also found that the epigenetics process know as histone modification differs in the three species. Histone marks during the gene transcription indicate that the process has been prevented or modified.

He presented his results yesterday to a meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics, whose press announcement is here in pdf. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?