A detailed comparison of the human and chimpanzee genomes reveals that some genes coding for transcriptional regulators may be evolving faster in humans, an international research consortium comprising 67 authors reports today in Nature. The paper, arriving a year and a half after the chimp draft, is accompanied by a cluster of studies in Science, Genome Research, and Nature that use this powerful comparative tool to assess gene-expression patterns across different organs, test a prevailing theory about Y-chromosome evolution, and find elements and mediators of genomic variation.

The sequence should expand the scope of chimpanzee research say those involved, and may aid in investigations into what makes humans human. "The chimp genome is exciting because it gives us the raw material to ask that question," said Michael Eisen at the University of California, Berkeley, who did not participate in these studies.

Chimps and humans split from...

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