MadSci Network: Evolution

Subject: Chromosomes 46 and 48

Date: Mon Jan 2 16:49:58 2006
Posted by Roger
Grade level: undergrad School: University o fLeedsd
City: Leeds State/Province: West Yorkshire Country: England
Area of science: Evolution
ID: 1136245798.Ev

Please could you explain how the chromosomes in chimps and humans might have 
split from 48 to 46 in a common ancestor?  What I donít understand is the 
point at which the split appears to have taken place.  For example, I 
understand that the human chromosome is #2 and that the chimp chromosome is 
#13.  Do these different chromosomes have the same or similar functions that 
would explain why a split might occur?  What is the genetic advantage of 
combining 2 chromosomes into one at this point in the sequence?  How does the 
reduction of 2 chromosomes into 1 at this point in the humansí/chimpsí DNA 
start the process that makes an Ďancestral chimpí eventually become a human 
(with all the advantages that, from our anthropological point of view, make 
humans superior to chimps)?  In other words, in case I am phrasing this badly 
in my confusion, what does this particular sequence of DNA do at numbers 2 and 
13 respectively that would account for a speciation event of such a magnitude?

Thank you very much for your patience and kindness in answering my questions.

Re: Chromosomes 46 and 48

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