The genome consists of the entire DNA present in the nucleus of the fertilized embryo, which is then duplicated in every cell in the body. A draft sequence of the chimpanzee genome is now available, providing opportunities to better understand genetic contributions to human evolution, development, and disease. Sequence differences from the human genome were confirmed to be ∼1% in areas that can be precisely aligned, representing ∼35 million single base-pair differences. Some 45 million nucleotides of insertions and deletions unique to each lineage were also discovered, making the actual difference between the two genomes ∼4%. We discuss the opportunities and challenges that arise from this information and the need for comparison with additional species, as well as population genetic studies. Finally, we present a few examples of interesting findings resulting from genome-wide analyses, candidate gene studies, and combined approaches, emphasizing the pros and cons of each approach.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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