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back to article The genetic button that could turn a WOMAN into a CHIMPANZEE

Certain regulatory mechanisms in genes are all that's stopping the human race from turning into monkeys, boffins have found. Humans share over 90 per cent of their DNA with primates, but mankind has somewhat different biology and behaviour. To get that difference from the same genetic soup, the activity of the genes has to …

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Anonymous Coward

Turn a woman into a monkey?

Were you watching Red Dwarf last week?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Turn a woman into a monkey?

It's already happening.

Have you not been to Doncaster?

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Happy

Wrong direction?

"Certain regulatory mechanisms in genes are all that's stopping the human race from turning into monkeys, boffins have found"

wouldn't it be equally correct to say

"Certain regulatory mechanisms in genes are all that's stopping apes from turning into humans, boffins have found"

??

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Trollface

Re: Turn a woman into a monkey?

"...Were you watching Red Dwarf last week?..."

If you mean the latest flogging-a-dead-horse let-it-die not-remotely-funny-anymore series, I doubt anyone was.

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Re: Turn a woman into a monkey?

Hartlepoole surely you mean

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Re: Wrong direction?

...wouldn't it be equally correct to say...

Yes, in the sense that both are completely incorrect. In neither case could an individual of one species "turn into" an individual of another species.

A somewhat better phrasing would be something like "epigenetic mechanisms distinguish among closely-related primate species".

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Anonymous Coward

Chimpanzees are not monkeys

I thought Terry Pratchett had by now informed most technically-educated non-biologists that orangs, chimpanzees and gorillas are NOT monkeys. They are apes...a lot more like us.

The author ought to suffer the fate of people making a similar mistake in Pratchett's books, i.e. to be bounced up and down on their heads till they get the point.

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Re: Chimpanzees are not monkeys

Of course, there is but one response I can make to this:

Oook.

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Re: Chimpanzees are not monkeys

Sorry old boy, I think you meant to say Oook?

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Re: Chimpanzees are not monkeys

Equally importantly, once the button switching a human being into an orangutan has been pressed, they result ape DOES NOT WANT IT TO BE SWITCHED BACK!!

EEEEK!!

as the librarian tends to say when this is suggested (either that or he bounces your head on the cobblestones a few times).

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Joke

Re: Chimpanzees are not monkeys

Insensitive bastard, making fun of his speech impediment....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Chimpanzees are not monkeys

Did I detect the hint of an Oirish accent in that Ooook?

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Re: Chimpanzees are not monkeys

"Did I detect the hint of an Oirish accent in that Ooook?"

O'Oook?

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Re: Chimpanzees are not monkeys

Of course they are not (and I hope most educated people knew this before they read Pratchett[1]), but the study and the article also refer to rhesus monkeys, which, as the name suggests, are monkeys. There's no reason to believe that the phrasing of the first paragraph refers to chimpanzees rather than rhesus (or other) monkeys.

[1] Not that there's anything wrong with reading Pratchett - but it's not a substitute for a basic education in zoological taxonomy. (Pity he's never asked me to blurb any of his books, because "Fine novel, but not a substitute for a basic education in zoological taxonomy" would look great on the back cover.)

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WTF?

Re: Chimpanzees are not monkeys

I meant exactly what I said. Oook. Not Oook, just Oook.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Chimpanzees are not monkeys

I am constantly finding that many people with degrees in subjects like mechanical engineering and computer science are utterly ignorant of biology. Hence my comment...in any case, a study of zoological taxonomy is no substitute for an education in genetics.

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Anonymous Coward

If it were only that simple

I wish I had a penny for every genetic research group that made made outlandish claims of "if we could only" and make it so easy as to take a simple pill.

Remember telomere lengthening and the cure for ageing ? I'm willing to bet I will be in the ground at least a millennium before anyone gets even near cracking genetic ageing.

Imagine the complexity of writing a distributed parallel program to run on all the worlds computers simultaneously in analogue and you have some idea of the genome and the reactions involved.

Getting biochemical reactions to occur in vitro is a crapshoot, never mind trying it in a live human test subject

Hey physicists I'm still waiting for the promised nuclear fusion we were to get in the 1970s.

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Re: If it were only that simple

So what do you think Gilad (or some amorphous "genetic research group") is claiming is "so easy" in this case, or involves taking a pill?

Or is this just an excuse for you to grind a favorite axe, regardless of its relevance to the article?

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The genetic button that could turn a WOMAN into a CHIMPANZEE

Now if we could only turn a chimpanzee into a gorgeous woman.

*That* would be progress!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The genetic button that could turn a WOMAN into a CHIMPANZEE

No, it wouldn't. Sadly, chimpanzees (and the other great apes) are in much shorter supply than attractive women. Forget drones, how do we teach the chimps how to use machine guns against the people trying to wipe them out?

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Re: The genetic button that could turn a WOMAN into a CHIMPANZEE

"Now if we could only turn a chimpanzee into a gorgeous woman"

How do you know that's not a gorgeous chimpanzee?

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Pint

Re: The genetic button that could turn a WOMAN into a CHIMPANZEE

After a bit of independent research. I have discovered something that can make something that looks like a chimpanzee look like a gorgeous woman.

See Icon.

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Flame

Re: The genetic button that could turn a WOMAN into a CHIMPANZEE

Damned humans. Coming over here and stealing all our women chimps!

Get your hands off her you damned dirty human!

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Facepalm

El Reg science desk messes up again...

The given link to a .PDF is to a press release for a completely different study.

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"Humans share over 90 per cent of their DNA with primates"

- and ~45% with a cabbage, ~60% with a fruit fly, so not really surprising when you put it into that perspective.

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More precisely, humans share 100% of their DNA with primates - specifically with homo sapiens. (And yes, 100% is "over 90", so the article is not technically incorrect.)

Pro tip for the Reg science desk: humans are primates (members of order Primates).

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DJV
FAIL

Readability

Blimey! 7 paragraphs and a total of 9 sentences. Several gramatical errors. Did anyone actually proofread that article?

I chucked it through the readability test at:

http://www.online-utility.org/english/readability_test_and_improve.jsp

which scored the readability as very low at 36.11.

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Re: Readability

Well obviously El Reg couldn't afford to employ and infinite number of monkeys....

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Re: Readability

Is 36.11 low? Is it a problem?

I pasted the web-site's own text into the box and it came out at 36.40.

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Re: Readability

Readability metrics are largely useless for any text containing technical information. Arguably (and I'd argue this), they're useless for any text that doesn't contain technical information, too.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: WOMAN into a CHIMPANZEE?

I must introduce you to my ex-wife

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The PDF link seems to be to a paper on 5' UTR SNPs and translational efficiency while the article refers to a completely different talk on epigenetic similarities between primates....

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Chimpanzees are not monkey's.

My 6 year old knows the difference between a Monkey and an Ape.

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Headmaster

Chimpanzees are not monkey's.

Not monkey's what? Uncles?

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"...Chimpanzees are not monkey's. My 6 year old knows the difference between a Monkey and an Ape..."

How is he on the difference between plurals and possessives?

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Facepalm

STOP THEM NOW

Or before the seas raise due to global warming they will have taken over the world and it will be Planet Of The Apes all over again.....

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TRT
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Re: STOP THEM NOW

even then they would STILL invent depilatory cream.

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Re: STOP THEM NOW

Are you sure that's apes and not Spaceballs?

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Windows metro ui

On an unrelated note, judging by the picture it appears Microsoft made the right choice with the Windows 8 Notro UI. So simple even a chimp can use it.

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Anonymous Coward

Considering the behavior on most online forums

Considering the behavior on most online forums - the screaming, the feces-throwing, the blind groupthink - I wonder if perhaps this has already happened and I just missed it....

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Devil

Great opportunity

If a woman could be turned into a monkey it seams to me that the reverse should also work. This should be more true than going into the reverse direction since it has already happened before. So now is the time to take advantage of this great opportunity to direct the evolution of one of the precursors of humanity to human. Some may think that there is some ethical concerns in doing this. This would be true if man DID NOT EVOLVE in the first place. If humanity did evolve then this would only nature getting a little help to speed up the process.

So now I wish for happy evolution to the person to come.

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FAIL

Re: Great opportunity

No it has not!

Apes are not our ancestors, as should be blindingly obvious. They are closely related species around at the same time as us (despite our efforts). They are not precursors of humanity; they are on alternative evolutionary paths. Being a chimpanzee is not in some magical evolutionary way inferior to being human, but different. My dog doesn't feel inferior to me, except that I am his pack leader. I really don't think dogs would be improved if we expanded their brains and taught them about fringe banking. Or even Javascript.

Furthermore evolution is not directed towards producing humans. A quick census by biomass suggests that if it is directed towards anything, it's producing bacteria, fungi, and green plants in that order.

So many mistakes about basic biology in one post, you could probably get space on one of those US websites that thinks the Flintstones was a science programme. Alternatively, read the excellent books by Jay Gould and get the basics of an education in evolutionary biology.

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Re: evolution is not directed towards producing humans.

See e.g. http://arxiv.org/abs/0711.1751 (in particular fig.2, evolution of nose size by Myr)

Paleontological Tests: Human-like Intelligence is not a Convergent Feature of Evolution

Charles H. Lineweaver

We critically examine the evidence for the idea that encephalization quotients increase with time. We find that human-like intelligence is not a convergent feature of evolution. Implications for the search for extraterrestrial intelligence are discussed.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: evolution is not directed towards producing humans.

Chapeau!

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Devil

Re: Great opportunity

"A quick census by biomass suggests that if it is directed towards anything, it's producing bacteria, fungi, and green plants in that order."

And then come the worms!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Great opportunity

And what of this common ancestor for ape and human? I'd be really interested to see the fossil record for this one! Do we have evidence or conjecture?

I know, its Y not X, but are we suggesting that women are quite close to apes but men are not? Can you have one half of a species closely related but the other half not?

" … 6 million years of separation, the difference in MSY gene content in chimpanzee and human is more comparable to the difference in autosomal gene content in chicken and human, at 310 million years of separation."

- Hughes, J.F. et al., , "Chimpanzee and human Y chromosomes are remarkably divergent in structure and gene content", Nature 463:536–539, 2010. (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v463/n7280/full/nature08700.html)

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Joke

Why?

... am I thinking "Man with Two Brains" here?

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Trollface

Fox news figures into this transformation somehow, I just know it.......

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Trollface

"Fox news figures into this transformation somehow, I just know it......."

I doubt it, given their position on so many things in the US body politic. Mind you, on the subject of chimps, there is this O'Reilly character who might qualify as one...

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