Chimp's gene map may help to understand human diseases
The genetic code of man's closest living relative, the chimpanzee, has been mapped and analysed by an international team of researchers.
Scientists are close to identifying the small but important differences between chimpanzees and humans, who are 99 per cent identical in the most important areas of their "life codes".
Scientists believe that the chimp genome published today in the journal Nature will help researchers to understand the genetic basis of many human diseases, as well as coming closer to explaining the fundamental essence of humanity.
Even taking into account subtle differences in DNA, the first comprehensive comparison of the genomes confirmed they share 96 per cent of their DNA - 60 times closer than man and mouse.
For some parts of the genome the differences are less pronounced, underlining the fact that humans and chimps shared a common ancestor between five and seven million years ago. Scientists also hope the chimp blueprint will add urgency to the preservation of this endangered species - one of several great apes that are threatened with extinction, according to an atlas of apes published today by the UN Environment Programme.
Richard Wilson, the director of the Genome Sequencing Centre at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri, said: "Such a comparison will allow us to learn more about how our own genome has evolved and gain a better understanding as to why we get ... diseases that chimpanzees rarely suffer."
A second study on the threats to endangered apes has found that poverty in the countries where the six species of great ape live is their greatest threat.
- 1 Woman accidentally shoots herself in the head while posing for a selfie
- 2 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 3 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
- 4 Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
- 5 16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...