How do we account for the vast amount of DNA shared between Humans and Chimps?
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Dave: Humans and Chimps share over 90% of our DNA – some estimates put it as
high as 99%!
Jeff: That explains a lot…
But why is there so much difference between
humankind and great apes? That 1% difference allows for things like…
Dave: Mozart! Bach!
Dave: That 1% allows us to create Picasso like art and travel to the Moon…
Jeff: And have air conditioning!
Dave: The difference really lies in what’s known as “gene expression” patterns.
Jeff: This is the activity the genes accomplish. Different proteins interact with
chimp and human DNA in different ways, controlling our gene expression.
Dave: This can affect many aspects of a being – increased brain activity, signals
between cells, and more.
Jeff: So, while the DNA may technically be very similar between humans and
chimps, the expression of how that plays out in the real world is very different.
Dave: A good analogy could be music – say you give the exact same chord changes
to a jazz musician and a classical musician…
Jeff: Their expressions of that same information would be incredibly different.