Re: Man or mouse?

Date: Sun Feb 11 2001 - 18:06:19 MST

John Clark writes:
> According to today's The New York Times, next week the Journals "Science"
> and "Nature" will independently publish two long articles reporting
> the latest results from the analysis of the human genome. The rival
> teams from Celera and The National Institute Of Health come to similar
> conclusions. One surprise is that humans only have about 30,000 genes,

The L.A. Times mentioned that the roundworm, one of the few other animals
which has been completely sequenced, has 20000 genes to control only
959 cells. That's right, the adult roundworm has exactly 959 cells and
almost as many genes as a human being.

Wired magazine has an article about a rival scientist who claims that the
groups have missed the majority of human genes. From,1282,41718,00.html:
   Such a small number would be almost embarrassing. The pufferfish has
   about 50,000 genes, for Pete's sake. But Haseltine said not to worry.

   "We have isolated genes using other methods and know there are at
   least 90,000 and probably 120,000. But (their number) is not surprising
   considering the data they worked from," he said.

I suspect he was mostly taking advantage of the opportunity to embarrass
his rival due to the unexpected and somewhat awkward result. But you
can't help wondering whether the small number points to something we're


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