Examining the genetic variation between humans and chimpanzees may help develop cures for several diseases

In a paper from the November issue of Genome Research, researchers from the Division of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics at the National Health Research Institutes are closely examining the genetic variation between humans and chimpanzees (I don’t have access to it yet – free online access is available to Genome Research articles 6 months after publication, but the article highlighting the paper is available in the China Post). Chimps don’t suffer from some of the debilitating diseases that humans can endure, so looking at our genetic differences may lead to information that might enable scientists to alter gene expression and therefore the environment in which these diseases thrive. More information on gene expression is hoped to play a role in finding cures for Alzheimer’s disease, AIDS, and hepatitis B and C.

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