Friday, June 01, 2007

Why are we somuch like sharks? specially Lawyers or RIAA! ;)

If you ever wondered, why we refer to some of the people as sharks, in our day to day dealings, you are in the right track. We seem to share a lot with sharks and it goes way back, like 450 million years!
Some 450 million years ago, sharks and humans shared a common ancestor, making sharks our distant cousins.

And according to recent research, this kinship is evident in our DNA, as at least one shark species possesses several genes that are nearly identical to those in humans.

The elephant shark's genome is so similar to ours that we wind up having more in common with it, genetically speaking, than with other species, such as teleost (bony skeleton) fishes, which are nearer to us on the evolutionary tree.

"This was a surprising finding, since teleost fish and humans are more closely related than the elephant shark is to humans," says lead author Associate Professor Byrappa Venkatesh.

Venkatesh, principal investigator at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Singapore, and his team determined that sets of genes on chromosomes, as well as actual genetic sequences, are "highly similar in the elephant shark and human genomes".

The researchers not only analysed the elephant shark genome, but also the genes for other animals including puffer fish, chickens, mice and dogs.

Their findings were recently published in the journal PLoS Biology.

I learned this via DIGG at News in Science

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