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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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Turn a woman into a monkey?

    Were you watching Red Dwarf last week?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Turn a woman into a monkey?

      It's already happening.

      Have you not been to Doncaster?

      1. James Micallef Silver badge
        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"

        ??

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          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".

      2. Fr. Ted Crilly

        Re: Turn a woman into a monkey?

        Hartlepoole surely you mean

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Chika

      Re: Chimpanzees are not monkeys

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

      Oook.

      1. Andy ORourke

        Re: Chimpanzees are not monkeys

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

        1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

          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).

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Joke

          Re: Chimpanzees are not monkeys

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

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Chimpanzees are not monkeys

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

          1. Lord Voldemortgage

            Re: Chimpanzees are not monkeys

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

            O'Oook?

        4. Chika
          WTF?

          Re: Chimpanzees are not monkeys

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

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      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.)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      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?

  4. Crisp Silver badge

    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!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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?

    2. Elmer Phud Silver badge

      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?

      1. LaeMing Silver badge
        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!

    3. Crisp Silver badge
      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.

  5. MondoMan
    Facepalm

    El Reg science desk messes up again...

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

  6. Richard Cartledge
    Thumb Down

    "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.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      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).

  7. DJV Silver badge
    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.

    1. El Zorro

      Re: Readability

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

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      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.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        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.

  8. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WOMAN into a CHIMPANZEE?

      I must introduce you to my ex-wife

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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....

  10. JokerZero

    Chimpanzees are not monkey's.

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

    1. Arnold Lieberman
      Headmaster

      Chimpanzees are not monkey's.

      Not monkey's what? Uncles?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      "...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?

  11. Big_Ted
    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.....

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: STOP THEM NOW

      even then they would STILL invent depilatory cream.

      1. Chika

        Re: STOP THEM NOW

        Are you sure that's apes and not Spaceballs?

  12. Shaha Alam

    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.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    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....

  14. Curly4
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. Paul Kinsler

        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.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: evolution is not directed towards producing humans.

          Chapeau!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        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!

      3. Anonymous Coward
        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)

  15. TrishaD
    Joke

    Why?

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

  16. Dana W
    Trollface

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

    1. Chika
      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...

  17. Grikath Silver badge
    Boffin

    correct link to the press release would be

    http://www.ashg.org/pdf/PR_primate%20release.11-6.pdf

  18. Scott Broukell
    Thumb Up

    All very well but .....

    ... they got into space before human apes. We men failed to notice the subtle and ingenious ways by which we were unwittingly coerced into developing space flight and then before you know it we launched apes into space first*. Naturally the sole purpose was just to see the lovely view from up there and once that was done we (men) continued tinkering in the space-age garden shed of bliss unabated. Go ape-women of the world !

    *(well dogs and cats and some mice as well probably but you get the gist)

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    oo oo oo oo ooo

    ah AH Ah AHAHAHAHAH EEE EEE EEE EEE EEE EEE EEEEEEEEEEE

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you have any poo, now is the time to fling it...

    They've been been turning people into chimps for years - just look at the behaviour of the "honourable members" in Westminster if you need any proof.

  21. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Coat

    Its a lot

    closer than you think

    Come to the factory where I work and you'll see a bunch of monkeys attempting to operate the machines.(roughly translated: ****ing everything thing up every 5 seconds even the job we designed as un****able)

    And why does the boss only hire monkeys? because he pays peanuts

    <<grabbing coat and running for it

  22. Azzy

    mankind has somewhat different biology and behaviour?

    Could have fooled me re: behavior...

    Also, C for writing and D for for the title. Sometimes El Reg goes over the top with the titles (er, i mean, too far over the top, they're always a bit over the top...)

  23. GBE

    Turn woman into gorilla: it's been done

    Over here in the US, "woman turning into a gorilla" used to be a pretty standard carnival/fair side-show attraction (dunno if they still do it). There's a line of patter about a scientist doing research in Africa and accidental discovery of a serum that causes a person to change back and forth between human and gorilla. There's an attactive woman (in a bikini of course) standing in a large cage. After the build-up, she gradually transforms into a "gorilla", and starts shaking the bars of the cage, which of course, come undone and she escapes -- roaring and threatening the audience. When properly staged and presented, it's actually quite entertaining.

    Hint: they do it with a partially silvered mirror and some dimmable lights...

    1. Old Painless
      Go

      Re: Turn woman into gorilla: it's been done

      Sounds like my wedding night - were you there? Are you The Missus???

      1. Chika
        Facepalm

        Re: Turn woman into gorilla: it's been done

        Sounds a bit like gorilla warfare to me

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yeah, brilliant discovery

    But if you write a computer program that's 90% like another computer program but with random additions, and then run them both, you'll probably find the execution paths diverge pretty rapidly and the output is completely different.

    Which is pretty much what they claim to have discovered.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yeah, brilliant discovery

      Depends if the random differences are comments.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why do it the hard way?

    IMO, it would be far easier to turn a man into an ape than a woman, but much less of an accomplishment. I mean, not much needed, what?

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