GENE-ious Primates

Mutation spotted! Evolve, you cheeky monkey!


This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.


From swinging through trees to driving through concrete jungles, we’ve come a long way from our primate ancestors! But our genes connect us! Could analyzing primate genomes help us understand human diseases? 


Lukas Kuderna and an international team went on a genetic adventure. 


They analyzed over eight hundred primates from more than two hundred species. It’s the most complete genomic catalog of our closest relatives! And they compared the genome of different primate families to humans. 


What did they find? 


Around four MILLION mutations were related to the malfunction of proteins. NINETY-FOUR percent have NEVER been studied before. This finding might shed light on mysterious human diseases!


The team believes we could use these findings to uncover the mysteries behind common conditions – like heart disease and diabetes! Armed with this knowledge, we can utilize AI tools to unlock the mysteries behind human diseases.


Thanks, GENE-ius primates!  


Kuderna, L. F., Gao, H., Janiak, M. C., Kuhlwilm, M., Orkin, J. D., Bataillon, T., Manu, S., Valenzuela, A., Bergman, J., Rousselle, M., Silva, F. E., Agueda, L., Blanc, J., Gut, M., de Vries, D., Goodhead, I., Harris, R. A., Raveendran, M., Jensen, A., … Marques Bonet, T. (2023). A global catalog of whole-genome diversity from 233 primate species. Science, 380(6648), 906–913.