Monday, November 13, 2017

How We Found Out Human Immune Genes Are Almost Identical to Chimpanzees

In the article Fish Provide Insight into the Evolution of the Immune System, it explains the new findings that enhance the idea of chimpanzees having the almost same exact immune genes as humans do.  What has been done at the University of East Anglia in UK and Dalhousie University in Canada, is research about how immune systems can evolve resistance to parasitic threats.  These Universities teamed up to use guppy fish and study their Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC genes) to see how they adapt and survive. MHC genes and their proteins are found in all higher vertebrates, so comparing the fish to humans is very beneficial. The guppies fine-tune these MHC genes in every location that is necessary for them to stay alive against extreme environmental changes.  This study had the ability of enhancing the way that scientists understand how related species do the same thing as the guppies while sharing similar functions.  These MHC genes are an important line of defense in vertebrates, especially humans, so the ability to have immune genes that are highly diverse is essential so the vertebrates can protect themselves from parasitic infections.  I believe that this study expands scientists steps forward in understanding evolutionary genetics of the immune system.  Especially that of humans and chimpanzees since so many people love to compare the two species.

1 comment:

  1. Its interesting to see the comparison being done with fish as well as chimpanzees to humans. For the most part people know that chimpanzees and humans share similar DNA, so seeing the comparison with fish is amazing even with the sequences coding for proteins with similar functions.