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From: Bundrick, David (BundrickD@evangel.edu)
Date: Tue Sep 24 2002 - 16:26:42 EDT

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    In view of the discussion on this listserv a few months ago re
    "Brachiators on Our Family Tree," I thought the following article
    would be of interest to the ASA.

    David Bundrick

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Stacey Ake [mailto:ake@METANEXUS.NET]
    Sent: Tuesday, September 24, 2002 10:51 AM
    Subject: NewScientist: Human-chimp DNA difference trebled

    The World's No.1 Science & Technology News Service

    Human-chimp DNA difference trebled

    22:00 23 September 02

    NewScientist.com news service

    We are more unique than previously thought, according to new comparisons of
    human and chimpanzee DNA.

    It has long been held that we share 98.5 per cent of our genetic material
    with our closest relatives. That now appears to be wrong. In fact, we share
    less than 95 per cent of our genetic material, a three-fold increase in the
    variation between us and chimps.

    The new value came to light when Roy Britten of the California Institute of
    Technology became suspicious about the 98.5 per cent figure. Ironically,
    that number was originally derived from a technique that Britten himself
    developed decades ago at Caltech with colleague Dave Kohne. By measuring the
    temperature at which matching DNA of two species comes apart, you can work
    out how different they are.

    But the technique only picks up a particular type of variation, called a
    single base substitution. These occur whenever a single "letter" differs in
    corresponding strands of DNA from the two species.

    But there are two other major types of variation that the previous analyses
    ignored. "Insertions" occur whenever a whole section of DNA appears in one
    species but not in the corresponding strand of the other. Likewise,
    "deletions" mean that a piece of DNA is missing from one species.



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