Join Now!      Login

Whole Person Wellness Program Wellness Model
Skip Navigation Links
Health Centers
Key Services
Medicial Mistakes?
How many people each year suffer some type of preventable harm that contributes to their death after a hospital visit?
from 46,000 to 78,000
from 78,000 to 132,000
from 132,000 to 210,000
from 210,000 to 440,000


 New Genome Comparison Finds Chimps, Humans Very Similar at the DNA Level  
by National Institutes of Health - 8/31/2005

Although the statistical signals are relatively weak, a few classes of genes appear to be evolving more rapidly in humans than in chimps. The single strongest outlier involves genes that code for transcription factors, which are molecules that regulate the activity of other genes and that play key roles in embryonic development.

A small number of other genes have undergone even more dramatic changes. More than 50 genes present in the human genome are missing or partially deleted from the chimp genome. The corresponding number of gene deletions in the human genome is not yet precisely known. For genes with known functions, potential implications of these changes can already be discerned.

For example, the researchers found that three key genes involved in inflammation appear to be deleted in the chimp genome, possibly explaining some of the known differences between chimps and humans in respect to immune and inflammatory response. On the other hand, humans appear to have lost the function of the caspase-12 gene, which produces an enzyme that may help protect other animals against Alzheimer’s disease.

“This represents just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to exploring the genomic roots of our biological differences,” said one of the study’s co-authors LaDeana W. Hillier of the Genome Sequencing Center at Washington University School of Medicine. “As more is learned about other functional elements of the genome, we anticipate that other important differences outside of the protein-coding genes will emerge.”

Armed with the chimp sequence, researchers also scanned the entire human genome for deviations from normal mutation patterns. Such deviations may reveal regions of “selective sweeps,” which occur when a mutation arises in a population and is so advantageous that it spreads throughout the population within a few hundred generations and eventually becomes “normal.”

The researchers found six regions in the human genome that have strong signatures of selective sweeps over the past 250,000 years. One region contains more than 50 genes, while another contains no known genes and lies in an area that scientists refer to as a “gene desert.” Intriguingly, this gene desert may contain elements regulating the expression of a nearby protocadherin gene, which has been implicated in patterning of the nervous system. A seventh region with moderately strong signals contains the FOXP2 and CFTR genes. FOXP2 has been implicated in the acquisition of speech in humans. CFTR, which codes for a protein involved in ion transport and, if mutated, can cause the fatal disease cystic fibrosis, is thought to be the target of positive selection in European populations.

The chimp and human genome sequences, along with those of a wide range of other organisms such as mouse, honey bee, roundworm and yeast, can be accessed through the following public genome browsers: GenBank ( at NIH's National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI); the UCSC Genome Browser ( at the University of California at Santa Cruz; the Ensembl Genome Browser ( at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute; the DNA Data Bank of Japan (; and EMBL-Bank ( at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory's Nucleotide Sequence Database.

CONTINUED      Previous   1  2  3  4  Next   
Provided by National Institutes of Health on 8/31/2005
 From Our Friends
Find Focus with HeartMath Transformation Systems
Popular & Related Products
Popular & Featured Events
Wellness Inventory Certification Training
     April 3-July 3, 2018
     Los Angeles, CA USA
2018 National Wellness Conference
     June 18-20, 2018
     St. Paul, MN USA
Additional Calendar Links
Dimensions of Wellness
Wellness, Eating, dimension!

Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Wellness Inventory       Wellness Center
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us
Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Are you ready to embark on a personal wellness journey with our whole person approach?
Learn More/Subscribe
Are you looking to create or enhance a culture of wellness in your organization?
Learn More
Do you want to become a wellness coach?
Learn More
Free Webinar