Thursday, January 27, 2011

Gene study shows way to save orangutans

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor
WASHINGTON | Wed Jan 26, 2011:

(Reuters) - Orangutans are notoriously slow and gentle, and a study of their DNA shows they have evolved in a similar way, researchers reported on Wednesday.

The findings, published in the journal Nature, could help conservationists do a better job of saving the endangered great apes and might provide insights into human health.

"In terms of evolution, the orangutan genome is quite special among great apes in that it has been extraordinarily stable over the past 15 million years," Richard Wilson of Washington University in St. Louis, the genomics expert who oversaw the study, said in a statement.

"This compares with chimpanzees and humans, both of which have experienced large-scale structural rearrangements of their genome that may have accelerated their evolution." Read more>>

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