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Name: Danny
Status: Other
Grade:  Other
Location: N/A
Country: United States
Date: October 2007

If chimpansees and humans share more then 95% or their genes, what percentage of their genes do random humans share with each other? If that should be close to 100%, what meaning does the concept of family relatedness still have? What am I missing here?

The number varies depending on what source you refer to, but humans and chimpanzees seem to share around 98.5% of their genes. Any two humans are about 99.9% the same, so on average they differ by 0.1%. The human genome has 3.5 BILLION "letters". So 0.1% is 3 MILLION letters. There is still a lot of room for difference. But we are finding that we share 80% of our genes with mice. There are certain genes that all living things share just because they are alive. It is becoming clear that it is not so much how many letters we share, but how those letters are used; in other words it is how the genes are regulated that seems to matter the most.


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