We haven’t had one of these for a while. Today’s challenge was inspired by an article we found at PhysOrg: Just 7% of our DNA is unique to modern humans, study shows. Briefly, PhysOrg says, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
What makes humans unique? Scientists have taken another step toward solving an enduring mystery with a new tool that may allow for more precise comparisons between the DNA of modern humans and that of our extinct ancestors. Just 7% of our genome is uniquely shared with other humans, and not shared by other early ancestors, according to a study published Friday in the journal Science Advances.
“That’s a pretty small percentage,” said Nathan Schaefer, a University of California computational biologist and co-author of the new paper. “This kind of finding is why scientists are turning away from thinking that we humans are so vastly different from Neanderthals.”
Here’s a link to the article if you want to read it: An ancestral recombination graph of human, Neanderthal, and Denisovan genomes. You can read it on-line without a subscription, but we’ll stay with PhysOrg. They say:
The research draws upon DNA extracted from fossil remains of now-extinct Neanderthals and Denisovans dating back to around 40,000 or 50,000 years ago, as well as from 279 modern people from around the world. Scientists already know that modern people share some DNA with Neanderthals, but different people share different parts of the genome. One goal of the new research was to identify the genes that are exclusive to modern humans.
We’re skipping a lot until we get to this interesting tidbit:
The researchers also found that an even smaller fraction of our genome — just 1.5% — is both unique to our species and shared among all people alive today. Those slivers of DNA may hold the most significant clues as to what truly distinguishes modern human beings.
That’s enough. If you’re interested, you’ll read it all. Now then, everyone is wondering: What can the creationists do with this? So far, we haven’t seen anything at the usual websites we review, but you know they’re thinking about it. What will they come up with?
The form of today’s challenge is that you must tell us, with reasonable brevity:
You know the rules: You may enter the contest as many times as you wish, but you must avoid profanity, vulgarity, childish anatomical analogies, etc. Also, avoid slanderous statements about individuals. Feel free to comment on the entries submitted by others — with praise, criticism, or whatever — but you must do so tastefully.
There may not be a winner of this contest, but if there is, your Curmudgeon will decide, and whenever we get around to it we’ll announce who the winner is. There is no tangible prize — as always in life’s great challenges, the accomplishment is its own reward. We now throw open the comments section, dear reader. Go for it!
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