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Nat Rev Genet. 2003 Jan;4(1):20-8.

Sequencing the chimpanzee genome: insights into human evolution and disease.

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  • 1University of Washington Genome Center, Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.


Large-scale sequencing of the chimpanzee genome is now imminent. Beyond the inherent fascination of comparing the sequence of the human genome with that of our closest living relative, this project is likely to yield tangible scientific benefits in two areas. First, the discovery of functionally important mutations that are specific to the human lineage offers a new path towards medical benefits. Second, chimpanzee-human comparisons are likely to yield molecular insights into how new biological characteristics evolve--findings that might be relevant throughout the tree of life.

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