Medical News and Perspectives
July 7, 2004

Chimpanzees and Humans: Not So Close?

JAMA. 2004;292(1):28-29. doi:10.1001/jama.292.1.28

For years, scientists have thought that the only thing keeping humans from looking and behaving like chimpanzees is a genetic difference of about 1%. This modest genetic divide is one reason why researchers have lauded the sequencing of the chimpanzee genome and why they have been working diligently to analyze and compare it with its human counterpart.

By uncovering the differences and similarities, scientists hope to gain a better understanding of human disease, evolution, and genetics. Identifying common genes could also help define which are relevant for study in various animal models of human conditions.