Re: NEWS/BIO: We will get the Chimp Genome!

Date: Mon Mar 19 2001 - 22:24:18 MST

In a message dated 3/19/01 7:40:49 PM, writes:

>When those are all done, the stage will be set for the 2nd tier
>organisms -- those that I listed at Extro 4 as useful because
>they have already invented novel solutions to the problems
>that need to be solved for slowly aging or non-aging organisms.
>If I and some others have any say in motivating the people
>at the various genome centers these will be the next set
>of organisms to be sequenced.

A great initial target will be elephants. Many selling points:

a) Long-lived and large; good for aging and cancer research
b) Distant from humans; they're on a different superorder
(Afrotheria) from rodents and humans (Glires). Unlike whales,
(related to hippos, cows, etc.)there are few other reasonable
sequencing candidates from that superorder.
c) Engangered charismatic megafauna (probably the most effective
point from the funding point)
d) Sequencing would be relevant for proposed mammoth

You can sell it to the conservationists on c), to techies on d),
to most geneticists on b), and you still get a). Granted, they're
not quite as promising as whales, but they're still a great one
to check. Although they don't live much longer than us, they
are larger, so are likely to have better cancer defenses.
Since they're so distanct phylogenetically, even their
longevity solutions probably differ from ours as the last
common ancestor was a Cretaceous insect-eating shrew.

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