Class blog for sharing and commenting on current events in biology.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Grace Stephens
In our cells, we all have something called mitochondrial DNA. In humans, mitochondrial DNA can be assessed as the smallest chromosome coding for 37 genes and containing approximately 16,600 base pairs. But researchers are starting to discover that we might contain the same mitochondrial DNA that chimpanzees do. If human nuclear variability has increased relative to that of the chimpanzee (which is the case), human mitochondrial variability should have increased (relative to the chimpanzee) at least as much, if not more. The actual observation, however, is that chimpanzees have “three to ten times” the mitochondrial variability of humans. If a female chimpanzee mated with a male that was not a chimpanzee, the hybrid offspring would have exactly the same mtDNA as the mother chimpanzee, but different, hybrid nuclear DNA derived from the father’s side of the family.
I decided to write my article about this current event because currently in bio we are studying DNA and cells. In the cell, mitochondria are responsible for taking nutrients and breaking it down into energy. It also contains DNA. I found this article really interesting to think that we have the same make up as chimpanzees.

"MtDNA: Human-chimpanzee Implications." MtDNA: Human-chimpanzee Implications. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2015.

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