Monday, April 16, 2007

Kate's New and Hot (Week 3)

What we can learn about ourselves from chimps and macaque monkeys...

I tripped across a cool pair of news articles on Yahoo, both re-emphasizing the connection between humans and primates. The first one is about the genetic similarity between humans and macaque monkeys, and the second is about cave-dwelling chimps. Apparently, the macaque's DNA map provided a lot of useful information about what makes humans "human" (according to the article, we share 93% of our genetic make-up with macaques and 98% with chimpanzees). What is really interesting is that macaques suffer from a disease called simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) which is very similar to AIDS, and are widely used in the testing of new HIV drugs and treatments. Click here to read to the full article.

The article about chimps is more cultural and less biological I suppose. Chimps at a field site in Africa have been observed making use of caves for shelter against the heat, much like early humans. This article can be accessed here.

Enjoy...see you all Wednesday,

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