The first comprehensive comparison of the genetic blueprints of humans and chimpanzees shows that our closest living relatives share perfect identity with 96 percent of our DNA sequence, an international research consortium reported today.
In a paper published in the Sept. 1 issue of the journal Nature, the Chimpanzee Sequencing and Analysis Consortium, which is supported in part by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), describes its landmark analysis comparing the genome of the chimp (Pan troglodytes) with that of human (Homo sapiens).
The chimp sequence draft represents the first non-human primate genome and the fourth mammalian genome described in a major scientific publication. A draft of the human genome sequence was published in February 2001, a draft of the mouse genome sequence was published in December 2002 and a draft of the rat sequence was published in March 2004. The essentially complete human sequence was published in October 2004.
The chimp and human genome sequences, along with those of a wide range of other organisms such as mouse, honey bee, roundworm and yeast, can be accessed through the following public genome browsers: GenBank (www.ncbi.nih.gov/Genbank) at NIH's National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI); the UCSC Genome Browser (www.genome.ucsc.edu) at the University of California at Santa Cruz; the Ensembl Genome Browser (www.ensembl.org) at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute; the DNA Data Bank of Japan (http://www.ddbj.nig.ac.jp/); and EMBL-Bank (www.ebi.ac.uk/embl/index.html) at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory's Nucleotide Sequence Database.
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