The chimpanzee and man share more than 98% of their genome – a fact that has always aroused curiosity – and in this context it is tempting to speculate that perhaps we should look for differences, not in the genes we share, but in those that are shared. they have lost differently during the evolution of humans and other primates. ‘For example, it is believed that gene losses led to a reduction in the mandibular musculature, which allowed the growth of skull volume in humans, or that gene losses were important in improving our defense system against diseases ”, points out Cristian Cañestro. How many genes can a living being lose? A gene can be lost only if it is expendable and, therefore, its loss is not a disadvantage for the individual. What makes a gene expendable?

A gene becomes dispensable when the organism Cape- Verde Email List has the ability to perform its function in an alternative way (functional redundancy), or when the gene is no longer necessary because the organism has lost the structure or the physiological requirement in which the gene participated ( regressive evolution). Therefore, changes in the way of life of the species can lead to the dispensability of certain genes, as has been verified, for example, with the loss of genes associated with pigmentation and vision in species that have adopted cave life forms. . Discovering how many genes an organism can lose and how it loses them is essential to understand how many human genes are expendable and why certain mutations are irrelevant and others are dramatic for our health.

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In fact, recent genome sequencing of individuals from different populations around the world has revealed that any healthy person has an average of twenty genes that do not work, and apparently this does not appear to cause any adverse consequences. When genes are expendable: less is more It is likely that the presence of redundant genes or the environmental conditions in which we currently live cause us to have genes that are not necessary. As Ricard Albalat explains, “investigating the differences in gene losses between different human populations has, for example, discovered that the loss of the lipoprotein A gene confers resistance to coronary heart disease in Finnish populations on high-fat diets.” This experimental approach that relates genes to pathologies, called genotype first, opens

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