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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