Week 3: Genetic Evolution

Human or Chimp?

“99.4% of the most critical DNA sites are identical in human and chimp genes.”

I’ve also heard that 70% of our DNA is shared with yeast…..

I don’t know a lot about this stuff. It’s outside of my typical areas of reading and far out of my memory from studies I read in school. So, on that note, this quote is not surprising to me. I think that generally humans make great efforts to differentiate ourselves as vastly different and superior to other life forms. Culturally, I don’t see us making any acknowledgements about our striking similarities or same-ness with chimpanzees or other primates. It is not even imaginable culturally to think of what it would be like to integrate them into our culture on any level, sharing our human world. Julie mentioned in discussion group today about how many animals have a significant (>90% +) I feel our genetic similarity to humans and yet this information is marginalized. If this was integrated more into lay-person understanding, there might be more reverence for animals. That said, I don’t like the argument of animals = humans = valuable. Whether genetically similar or different, they are life forms and in their own right deserve and warrant appreciation and respect.

I am curious what the .6% difference is – my guess is that it’s the existence of the frontal cortex and our ability to consciously choose or align our consciousness. When I write this down however, I see that my own assumption is quite biased on my own limited understanding of differences and similarities among living forms. It is surely likely that chimps don’t have a frontal cortex, but do have a different mechanisms of consciousness.


Prokaryotes, Eukaryotes, & Viruses Tutorial

A side note from the reading: In 1995 the #1 infectious disease was respiratory infections.  That was interesting to me and from a 5 Elements perspective points to how as a culture, our “metal element” is really under attack, both culturally and environmentally.  We are being bombarded with toxins which we introduce into our systems largely in the air we breathe via the skin and lungs on and at the same, as a culture, we do not value or support the full range of feelings which causes a lot of contraction energetically in the lungs and large intestine.

 Tutorial Results:

Which of the following is not alive, but requires life to be able to reproduce?

Viruses: a virus requires a living cell for reproduction, and cannot reproduce by itself.

Which statement best describes the function of the rough endoplasmic reticulum?

Synthesis and assembly of membrane and secreted proteins : Rough ER is covered with ribosomes (causing the “rough” appearance) which are involved in the process of synthesizing proteins for secretion or localization in membranes.

Which statement best describes the function of the Golgi apparatus?

Processing of membrane and secreted proteins, including glycosylation:  The Golgi apparatus processes proteins after they leave the endoplasmic reticulum.


In some diseases like cystic fibrosis, a cell membrane receptor fails to function. In the majority of cases, the problem comes from a change in the receptor so that it cannot reach the cell surface. The site in the cell where membrane proteins are synthesized and assembled builds up with the abnormal protein. This site would likely be the: Endoplasmic reticulum: The site of synthesis and assembly of membrane proteins, the ER also seems to be able to detect proteins that cannot fold correctly. These accumulate and are degraded. For CF, 70% of the patients have a form of the disease where the receptor accumulates in the ER.

The following organelle is found in prokaryotic cells but not eukaryotic cells of animal origin.

The Cell wall : Animal cells in contrast to the majority of bacteria lack a cell wall.

Mitochondria and chloroplasts both:

Function to provide the cell a source of energy; are present in plants and contain DNA.


One thought on “Week 3: Genetic Evolution

  1. Nati says:

    I think it’s funny how we always assume that the difference between us and the animals in some form of consciousness (I assume that, too). But, what it, that wasn’t the difference at all? Maybe the difference is something completely different and chimps are just there watching us and poking fun? The only reason I bring something like this up is because it shows how arrogant humans are when we think we can understand how it is like to be another creature…We would never think that a cat could understand our life, so how can we assume that we can understand a cat’s? I have this cat who always goes out of my house by the same route every single day, like she had to go to work or something. I have no idea where she goes, and she has totally succeeded in stumping my intellect. I don’t understand her life, at least not that part. She probably thinks I’m crazy for showering…she will sit there watching me shower with a bewildered look in her eyes.

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