Human and Gorilla Genes
Name: Eileen B
What are the differences between the genetic mechanisms which
affect human and gorilla genes?
Both gorilla and man share the use of DNA as the carrier of genetic
information, as do nearly all of the life forms on the planet. The
differences between gorilla and human DNA will vary tremendously depending
on what gene you are looking at. For many genes the differences will be
slight, for others significant, for most unknown. The exact mechanisms by
which genes are copied and used are still not entirely clear, so that
presumably there will be minor differences between gorillas and humans, but
in the main the mechanisms are certainly similar -- transcription of DNA to
messenger RNA by RNA polymerases, assembly of proteins from mRNA by
ribosomes, and regulation of transcription by various DNA-binding proteins.
This is not surprising, since the basic material (DNA) is identical, and
because we have both evolved recently (within a few million years) from the
same ancestor species, and, more to the point, the mechanisms by which DNA
is used are probably as old as life, since they are the most basic things
that life does. This is such a general answer because, sorry, I don't know
much about gorilla molecular biology.
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Update: June 2012