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By Jessica M. Velez
University of Tennessee 

Not all genes are necessary for survival – these species dropped extra genetic baggage


October 25, 2019

(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)

Jessica M. Velez, University of Tennessee; Alison Gerken, Kansas State University, and Amey Redkar, Universidad de Córdoba

(THE CONVERSATION) Humans, the latest tally suggests, have approximately 21,000 genes in our genome, the set of genetic information in an organism. But do we really need every gene we have? What if we lost three or four? What if we lost 3,000 or 4,000? Could we still function? Humans have variation in their genomes, but the overall size does not vary dramat...

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