place of the worm

David L. Baillie dbaillie at darwin.mbb.sfu.ca
Mon Jul 29 14:35:08 EST 1996


In the July/August issue of "The Sciences"  Volume 36 number 4 pp 36-40
there is an article by Martin Raff entitled "Death Wish".  The following
quote appears:

"And people, who are genetically much closer to flies than to worms, would
probably die in the womb without programmed cell death."

What do other C. elegans workers think of this novel proposal?  I was not
aware of any phylogeny that places insects on the route to man.  Maybe 
scientists at the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology at the 
University college London know something the rest of the world doesn't.

	Even using molecular data, I have seen no evidence that C. elegans
is either closer or further from humans than are fruit flies.  Can anyone
shed real light on this issue?  I assume that the distance between C. elegans
and man is determined mainly by the time to the invertebrate:vertebrate 
divergence.  The same applies to flies.

Dave Baillie





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