Friday, February 20, 2009

Guess how many genes are exclusive to humans?

Zero. None. We humans don't have any genes unique to our species. How could that be? Two words: "genetic switches."

According to a recent issue of National Geographic ("What Darwin Didn't Know"), "the notion of genetic switches explains the humiliating surprise that human beings appear to have no special human genes."

Check out this example: "A giraffe doesn't have special genes for a long neck. Its neck-growing genes are the same as a mouse's; they may just be switched on for a longer time, so the giraffe ends up with a longer neck.

(By the way,
here's a link to that article. But don't look for the first quote from above. For some reason, the paragraph Pound360 pulled that from in the magazine was deleted from the digital version.)

(Image by
Arno & Louise via Flickr)


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Pound360 Archive

About Me

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.