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Anemone genome nearly as complex as human
BERKELEY, Calif., July 9 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists conducting the first analysis of the genome of the sea anemone have found it is nearly as complex as the human genome.
University of California-Berkeley Professor Daniel Rokhsar, who led the research team, said the sea anemone genome provides major insights into the common ancestor of not only humans and sea anemones, but of nearly all multi-celled animals.
According to Rokhsarm, the analysis of the genome allowed the team "to compare the sea anemone with other animals and see what the genome of their last common ancestor looked like, even though such creatures have been extinct for 600 (million) or 700 million years."
Surprisingly, the team found the genome of the starlet sea anemone resembles the human and other vertebrate genomes more closely than it resembles the genomes of such well-studied "lab rats" as fruit flies and nematode worms.
The sea anemone was found to have about 18,000 genes, while humans have about 20,000. The researchers say that implies the common ancestor had about the same number of genes.
The complex research is described in the journal Science.
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