Humans slow mutation rate (Science)

Giovanni Maga maga at vetbio.unizh.ch
Sat Apr 8 05:50:28 EST 1995

Dear colleagues,
I found in Science issue 31st March 1995 pagg.1907-1908 an interesting
report about Goodman's theory of slower mutation rate in humans. This idea,
long time adversed, found new support by the data of Wen Li, presented in a
Detroit symposium. He looked at non-coding sequences (pseudogenes, introns)
of monkeys (New and Old World) and humans  by the relative rate test and
found significantly slower mutation rate for humans. As a non-expert in
evolution but as a molbiologist interested in DNA repair, I would welcome
any comment about the hypothesis (already done by Britten, Science 231
(1986), 1393-1398) that long-lived animals could have more efficient DNA
repair systems than short-lived ones, which seems now to fit with this new
data, but still surprising due to the highly conserved DNA repair
mechanisms in eukaryotes. In general, I would also be interested to know if
these results prompted already to revise the molecular clock model, as
suggested in the article.
Any comment is welcome.
G.Maga, PhD
maga at vetbio.unizh.ch

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