Most complete primate gene study reported

July 31, 2007

U.S. scientists have completed what's believed the most comprehensive assessment of gene copy number variations across human and non-human primate species.

Researchers from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and Stanford University said their study provides an overview of genes and gene families that have undergone major copy number expansions and contractions during approximately 60 million years of evolutionary time.

Primates first appeared on Earth about 90 million years ago, and today roughly 300 primate species exist. To survey the differences in gene copy number among those species, University of Colorado Professor James Sikela and colleagues used DNA microarrays containing more than 24,000 human genes to perform comparative genomic hybridization experiments.

They compared DNA samples from humans with those of nine other primate species: chimpanzee, gorilla, bonobo, orangutan, gibbon, macaque, baboon, marmoset, and lemur. That allowed them to identify specific genes and gene families that, through evolutionary time, have undergone lineage-specific copy number gains and losses.

The scientists said they discovered differences potentially associated with cognition, reproduction, immune function, and susceptibility to genetic disease.

Their findings are reported in the online edition of the journal Genome Research.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Human-Neanderthal gene variance is involved in autism

Related Stories

Can newborn babies mimic their parents?

July 6, 2016

Imitation is a key part of the way humans learn. We can pick up new skills by observing others: how to tie shoelaces or hold a pencil in school, how to hit a tennis serve or swing a putter down the country club, or how to ...

A macaque model of HIV infection

June 2, 2016

Researchers have taken a major step toward developing a better animal model of human AIDS. Such a model could greatly improve researchers' ability to evaluate potential strategies for preventing and treating the disease.

Extra gene drove instant leap in human brain evolution

May 3, 2012

A partial, duplicate copy of a gene appears to be responsible for the critical features of the human brain that distinguish us from our closest primate kin. The momentous gene duplication event occurred about two or three ...

Recommended for you

Force triggers gene expression by stretching chromatin

August 26, 2016

How genes in our DNA are expressed into traits within a cell is a complicated mystery with many players, the main suspects being chemical. However, a new study by University of Illinois researchers and collaborators in China ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.