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Thursday, 1 September 2005

image for Scientists Decode Chimpanzee DNA
Genetically similar?

Cambridge, Massachusetts -- A comparison of the genomes of chimpanzees and politicians shows "incredible similarity" according to scientists. Yet behavioral differences, such as walking upright, prevarication, and starting international conflicts with no end in sight remain behaviors limited to humans, and are not explained by chromosomal differences.

The chimp genome consists of 2.8 billion pairs of DNA letters. Decoding the DNA is like creating a dictionary, according to Ed Glutamate, of the
Primate Research facility. You might say we have "Completed the Mission," although years of discovering the "meaning" of individual genes remains.

Only a handful of genes present in politicians are absent or partially deleted in chimps, New Scientist magazine reports. One may be the ability to empathize with others. A human sociopath, that is, someone unable to understand the feelings and needs of others, best represents the lack. Take a politician, for example. They may ACT like they care, but when something awful happens, say, a hurricane, they do surprisingly little to help. A rich person may wonder why a poor person doesn't "go to the bank" if they need money, or simply "go to a restaurant" if they are hungry.

The degree of genome similarity alone is far from the whole story, however. "Everyone has heard that the Bush doesn't fall far from the tree. That's because primates have enough sense to hold onto some branches, and avoid painful falls. Yet even Bush Senior was wise enough not to head into Baghdad, knowing there was no possible exit strategy. Bush Jr. doesn't seem to comprehend that.

Rabid dogs, such as Anne Coulter, vary wildly in appearance as a result of selective breeding and yet their genome sequences are 99.85 per cent similar to kind, gentle, "lick your face" Democrats.

Comparing the mutations that make a Republican what he or she "is" allowed the team to spot genes that have had changes favoured by having wealthy parents while taking into account the background mutation rate.

According to the researcher, the White House, and other "Congressional hangouts" are a good place to look for individuals with genes that make politicians different from other human beings. Getting a DNA sample" can be a challenge, however, since most politicians have committed criminal acts, or screwed around with other guy's wives, and are afraid of being linked to old crimes.

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