Gorilla Joins the Genome Club
Researchers have deciphered the genetic code of the gorilla – the last of the Great Ape genuses to be sequenced and, after chimps, gorillas are the closest living relative of humans. Understanding these genetic catalogues, from our closest living relatives, can reveal much about our evolutionary path — such as when we diverged from our primate cousins and what makes humans different from apes.
Overall, the data suggest that gorillas split from their common ancestor with humans and chimps about 10 million years ago, and that chimps and humans split from each other about 4 million years after that. The research team hopes their work will help to uncover genetic mutations that led to language, culture and science.