A new botany?

John Ladasky jladasky at pmgm.Stanford.EDU
Wed Nov 25 21:26:27 EST 1998

In article <365C2F76.F22F6AFB at users.info.wau.nl>,
Wim de Winter  <xxxxx_Wim.deWinter at users.info.wau.nl> wrote:
>John Ladasky wrote:
>>         A conclusive paper establishing once and for all that chimp-
>> anzees are closer living relatives of humans than gorillas was just
>> published last year.  In order to establish this with a probability
>> of >99%, fourteen different stretches of DNA were examined in all the
>> primates, most of them neutral.
>As a naive reader I wonder: wouldn't you need more material for comparison
>the closer the sources are related?

	There's a "sweet spot" in the middle range of phylogenetic compar-
isons.  If sources are very closely related, then you're right, you need
to look at more DNA in order to assemble a statistically significant set
of mutations.  However, if sources are very distantly related, then the
probability of multiple mutations at the same site becomes high.  This,
too, diminishes statistical confidence.

Rainforest laid low.
"Wake up and smell the ozone,"
Says man with chainsaw.					- John Ladasky

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