Chimps are Laughing at You

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Given Nature’s publication of the chimp genome, I figured that I’d share one of my all time favorite figures from a scientific paper. It is from Gagneux et al. (1999) Mitochondrial sequences show diverse evolutionary histories of African hominoids. PNAS 96 (9): 5077.

Fig. 1. Unrooted phylogram of the neighbor-joining tree of 1,158 different CRI sequences before (A) and after (B) after topiary pruning to level PL = 8 to remove homoplasies. Bootstrap values >= 50% for the primary internodes are shown. Position of the midpoint root is indicated by arrow. Different colors indicate species (humans, bonobos, and gorillas) and subspecies (chimpanzees). Symbols indicate individuals belonging to the same social group.…

What is very obvious from this paper figure is how genetically homogenous we are compared to our closest relatives. I’ve heard it stated that a single chimpanzee tribe has as much genetic diversity as is found in the entire human species. So next time you feel fit to make fun of us southerners for kissin’ cousins remember that chimps are laughing at you.

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Tangled Bank #36 from The Scientific Indian on September 7, 2005 4:46 PM

It's up at B and B. Yours truly's rant about superstitions is there too. There's are a lot of fun posts under Humor/Satire. Enjoy. Update: Read the posts in Tangled Bank #36. Café Scientifique and Jack Cohen is fabulous. What a clear and readable acco Read More

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This page contains a single entry by Reed A. Cartwright published on September 1, 2005 2:21 PM.

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