Human genetic differences – an order of magnitude greater

Listening to NPR on the way home, I heard a very interesting news bit on the latest in human genetic make-up studies.  For the longest time, scientists have said that humans are 99.9% identical genetically.  Now it seems that we differ at least 10 times more than previously believed.

Scientists have shown that our genetic code varies between individuals far more than was previously thought.

A US-led team made a detailed analysis of the DNA found in 270 people and identified vast stretches in their codes to be duplicated or even missing.

A great many of these variations are in areas of the genome that would not damage our health, Stephen Scherer and colleagues told the journal Nature.

. . .

…researchers have developed the molecular “tools” to focus on medium-scale variations of the code – at the scale of thousands of DNA letters.

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