Science News

The Gorilla Genome

Wed, 25th Apr 2012

Kat Arney

Listen Now    Download as mp3 from the show Genes and evolution - from populations to tumours

Never mind Gorillas In The Mist, how about gorillas in the lab? Scientists at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute have sequenced the whole genome of the gorilla - the last of the great apes to have its genome read.Western Gorilla This means we can now compare the genomes of humans, chimps, gorillas and orangutans, shedding new light on primate evolution.

The results show that gorillas diverged from chimps and humans around 10 million years ago. And although chimps are still our closest primate relative, there are some intriguing similarities between human and gorilla genes - for example, in the evolution of genes for hearing, which cast doubt on theories that the evolution of human hearing is linked to language development.



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