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genetic variation

I was just reading the other day that mitochodrial DNA (mtDNA) in modern
humans may differ by as much as 24.  The article was comparing this to the
difference of only 22 between modern humans and a Neanderthal's mtDNA.  So
much for the "missing link".

[John McCrone]
The general story is that genetic variation in humans is small compared to
other apes - four times less than that found in chimps (Paabo 1999). It is
hard to say anything as certain about Neanderthal genetics (for obvious
reasons) though the actual conclusion is that the figures for modern humans
and Neanderthal are "similar" (Krings 2000). And also that Neanderthal genes
did not contribute to the human gene pool (Krings 1999).

A new finding is that while the genetics of chimps and humans are 99 percent
identical, there have been big changes in the expression of that genetic
blueprint (same ingredients, different recipe) - (Paabo 2002).

I don't know anything much about fish genetics (and I am keen to hear more
from Mike and others) but I am familiar with the human evolutionary story
and it seems to offer good parallels with the mbuna vs apisto cases cited.

Humans are like mbuna perhaps - genetic similarity due to living in a "lake"
where there is a free flow of genes within the population.

Apes would be more like apistos - lots of different species spread about the
landscape in isolate "rivers" with little interbreeding of the populations.

from John McCrone

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