|Wesley R. Elsberry
Joined: May 2002
Of mice and men
|Despite the vast areas of commonality between the two species, the research identifies genetic territories that have undergone huge divergence. Mouse genes involved in sex, courtship, smell and immunity are fundamentally different from anything seen in the human genome. The nocturnal mouse uses olfactory cues for marking territory and identifying possible mates; the genes of the mouse immune system are immensely evolved compared to ours, indicating the faster genetic "arms race" between mice and their parasites – a product of the large litter size and short generation time of the fast-breeding rodent.|
So although the mouse genome opens the prospect of strides in the understanding of human disease, it also provides biologists with the raw data on which to build insights into our common evolutionary history.
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker