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human/chimp identity

Laurence Martin Cook LCOOK at fs1.scg.man.ac.uk
Mon Dec 6 15:15:32 EST 1999

A short while ago Brian Foley wrote that sequence data show the human 
genome to be very invariant, while chimpanzees are variable.  It must 
depend where you look.  

Some years ago Eviatar nevo and collegues made a number of surveys of 
data from electrophoretically detectable protein studies of 
organisms.  In the one I am looking at, there is for man a 
probability of 0.47 that a locus is polymorphic (for 107 loci in 7349 
individuals).  Silent mutations will make this even higher at the 
DNA level, and it is not just systems like MHC which are involved.  
The equivalent figures for Pan are P=0.079 (42 loci in 182 
individuals).  In the latter case only two populations were 
studied and it is possible variation between groups is great. 

 "If you've seen one human, you've seen them all."  Not on this 
evidence, you haven't.  At the present time it seems necessary and 
interesting to review critically the evidence for variability coming 
from different types of investigation.  Has this been done?

Laurence M. Cook
The Manchester Museum 
University of Manchester
Manchester M13 9PL U.K.
and:_lcook2 at excite.com


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