Chromosomes

CSC un691cs at genius.embnet.dkfz-heidelberg.de
Wed Oct 27 02:01:12 EST 1999


On 27 Oct 1999, Kaywan Mansubi wrote:

> Maybe plants and animals other than us with more chromosomes are advanced
> in ways we can't comprehend. Dogs have what some might call extrasensory
> perception, for instance. 

No, they simple smell better.

> The way I see it the more chromosomes you have
> the greater potential (considering not all parts of the dna are
> expressive) to create a wider array of proteins. I wonder if any thought
> has gone into this?

The number of chromosomes is only related weakly to the amount of
DNA. So I don't think the number of chromosomes actually
plays a role.
Second, if the amount of DNA is an indication for the "potential" of an
organism, what about the amoebe, which has a genome size 200-fold of that
of man ? Furthermore, most of the genome is made up out of repetitive DNA,
which is on the brink of being unfunctional. You could easily double
the amount of human genes, at the same time the amount of DNA would only
increase by roughly 5% !

> But I think it's best to be careful how we define evolution, eh? Plenty of
> animals and plants are doing quite well thanks to their own particular
> route of evolution.

completely agree. We humans aren't the end of evolution. May well be we
are all gone in a couple of 1000 years, and the crocodile, snail and ant 
are still alive.

Kind regards,

Clemens Suter-Crazzolara, PhD

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