How many genes do I share with a blade of grass?

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martin richards

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How many genes do I share with a blade of grass?
« on: 20/05/2008 23:57:50 »
martin richards asked the Naked Scientists:

Given that all life on earth is supposed to be descended from a common source how much of our DNA do we share with some thing like a blade of grass?

And what form of life on earth has the most complex DNA?


What do you think?

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Offline chris

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How many genes do I share with a blade of grass?
« Reply #1 on: 21/05/2008 09:32:14 »
Steve Jones, professor of genetics at UCL, told me that humans share about 60% of their genes with a banana. Given that grasses and bananas are both plants, the same figure seems like a reasonable estimate for a blade of grass.

Of course, when he says we share 60% of our genes, what he means is that the same genes are present in both bananas and humans i.e. pieces of genetic material that encode a protein that carries out a certain job in a cell. The actual genetic sequence of those genes will be subtley different between species, but the jobs they do will be grossly similar.

Chris
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