Comparative genomics is a powerful approach to extract genetic information from large stretches of nucleotide sequences through identification of conserved regions that are most likely functionally important. Genomic information is also the most valuable resources for understanding genetic differences between the species. Comparison between humans and chimpanzees is the most efficient and effective approach to understand what makes us human. Since chimpanzees are our closest relatives, the differences between us are fewer and these differences are more likely important. As the first step, we presented a first generation human–chimpanzee comparative genome map. The map was constructed through paired alignment of 77,461 chimpanzee BAC-end sequences (BESs) with human genomic sequences obtained from international DNA databanks. By using the BESs mapped with high confidence, the difference between the chimpanzee and human genomes was calculated to be 1.23% at the nucleotide level. This value is consistent with previous observations. The comparative map revealed not only base substations, but also a considerable number of rearrangements which have taken place during evolution. Based on the map, the sequencing of the chimpanzee genome was initiated and its preliminary data were shown including the sequence of FOXP2 gene related to speech and language.
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