Friday, April 13, 2007

Humanzees and the Macaque genome

Carl (Loom) Zimmer reviews the implications of sequencing the Macaque genome: Meet the Monkey Cousins. Wow.

One of the most interesting examples was a few hundred gene sequences associated with disease in Humanzees (Hominid-Chimp hybrids, lately known as Homo sapiens). Genes sequences associated with diseases like PKU are normal in Macaque, the disease in us may represent a reversion to an old gene form in an otherwise updated genomic environment.

Astonishing stuff, and much more to come. I remember the day when it was novel to understand disease in evolutionary terms, back when I asked questions about the evolution of the immune system and professors seemed puzzled by my interest ...

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