A few posts ago, I wrote about how genetic testing could help conservationists reintegrate chimpanzees into the wild. This is because chimpanzees are extremely diverse genetically; making it easy for geneticists to pinpoint what area of Africa an individual chimpanzee originated from. In fact, chimpanzees (and all other great apes) are more genetically diverse than our species: Homo sapiens. Recent genetic studies by molecular anthropologists have revealed that there are only 38 million unique genetic variants among the 3 billion base pair sequences within our species genome. Although 38 million unique variants may seem like a lot, it is actually a very small fraction of our genome. All the great apes are far more dissimilar than humans. We appear to be a homogenous group!
But this begs the question: why are we so similar?
On further reflection it becomes very perplexing. After all, there are seven billion humans on…
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