We Are All Much Alike – 99.6%

By Shlomo Maital

    It has been 20 years since the Human Genome project published the full map of human genes, based on blood samples drawn from 12 anonymous blood donors in and around Buffalo, New York.

    This week, in Nature,  the genome of a set of 47 new “reference” genomes taken from individuals on four continents (Africa, both of the Americas, and Asia) was published.  

    According to The Economist:  “The idea of the Human Pangenome Project, the organization behind the publications, is that rather than relying on a single “reference” genome, it would be better to have several, and to ensure that between them they capture as much of the genetic diversity of Homo sapiens as possible.”

    One of the key findings:  “Compared with the total size of the genome, the amount of diversity in question is small. Two people picked at random will share around 99.6% of their DNA.”

    So, on average,  let’s say, a radical white supremacist who reviles and attacks those whose skin color is black, brown and yellow,  shares on average 22,197 genes out of the total of 22,287 protein-coding genes in the human genome.  That is, all but 90 genes. 

     Conclusion:  Hatred, racism, violence – it must be social, based on nurture, not nature.  Because by nurture, we humans share a largely common set of genes.   We are all much alike, genetically.  We are all, literally, brothers and sisters.

     99.6%.  Let’s keep that in mind.

Source:  https://www.economist.com/science-and-technology/2023/05/10/the-human-genome-was-always-a-misnomer?utm_campaign=r.the-economist-today&utm_medium=email.internal-newsletter.np&utm_source=salesforce-marketing-cloud&utm_term=5/16/2023&utm_id=1599995