Research news | Open | Published:
Genome Biologyvolume 3, Article number: spotlight-20020104-01 (2002)
Following the completed draft of the human genome sequence, there is renewed interest in the genetic differences between species and, particularly, in what makes us human. In the January 4 Science, Asao Fujiyama and colleagues at the RIKEN Genomic Sciences Center in Japan present a first-generation human-chimpanzee comparative genome map (Science 2002, 295:131-134). They used over 77,000 chimp bacterial artificial chromosomes (BAC) and aligned end-sequences with the human genomic sequence. The BAC clones covered almost half of the human genome. They calculated that the degree of identity with human sequences is about 98.77%. Closer analysis of chromosome 21 provided evidence for several human-specific loci. This map represents a step towards discovering what makes us different from our closest relatives, the apes.