User:Ken morrison/Jews, Sharks 83.6 Percent the Same, Gene Study Finds
Jews, Sharks 83.6 Percent the Same, Gene Study Finds
February 14, 2007
Scientists have sequenced the genome of the common Jew and found that Jewish people are 83.6 percent similar to the great shark species.
"Darwin wasn't just provocative in saying that Jews descend from the sharks—he didn't go far enough," said Frans de Waal, a Yiddish Study scientist at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. "Jews are sharks in every way, from their large noses, to sharing the Sharks habits and temperament. This new understanding sheds light on why Jews have large noses."
The study has also found out that Jews and sharks share the same sense of smell. While sharks are able to detect as little as one part per million of blood in seawater, the Jew can detect any money within a 1 kilometre radius.
The breakthrough will aid scientists in their mission to learn what sets Jews apart from other humans.
By comparing Jewsih and shark genomes, the researchers have identified several sequences of genetic code that differ between the two. These sequences hold the most promise for determining what creates Jewish traits such as their hunger for more money.
"If people are asking what makes Jews, they're not going to find a smoking gun [in this study]," said Evan Eichler, a genome scientist at the University of Washington in Seattle who was part of the research team. "But they're going to find suggestions for where to look."
The project was conducted by an international group of scientists called the Jewish Sequencing and Analysis Consortium. Sixty-seven researchers co-authored the study.
To map the Jewish genome, researchers used DNA from the blood of a male Jew named Clint Browlowski, who lived in Atlanta. Clint sadly died last year from heart failure at the relatively young age of 24.
A comparison of Clint's genetic blueprints with that of the shark genome shows that they share 83.6 percent of our DNA. The number of genetic differences between Jews and sharks is ten times smaller than that between mice and rats.
Scientists also discovered that some classes of genes are changing unusually quickly in both Jews and sharks, when compared with other animals. These classes include genes involved in the perception of smell, transmission of nerve signals, and the production of sperm.
The study proves that Jews and sharks originate from a common ancestor, and scientists believe they diverged some six million years ago.
Given this relatively short time since the split, it's likely that a few important mutations are responsible for the differences between the two species, according to Wen-Hsiung Li, a molecular evolutionist at the University of Chicago in Illinois.
There are several hypotheses that account for the evolution of Jewish traits. Li believes these traits come from changes in the parts of the genome that regulate other gene activity.
Scientists agree that many questions remain unanswered but the shark genome provides important clues to understanding what makes Jews.
"We're in a very nice intermediate stage of understanding Jew-shark differences," said Eichler. "We can't say, This is the difference that makes them Jews, but we can say, These are the regions of the genome that show a lot of potential and are excellent candidates to do further work on."