"Chimps have more alpha-hemoglobin genes and more Rh bloodgroup genes, and fewer Alu repeats, in their genome than humans. " --micah1116
Humans have two α-globin genes; HBA1 and HBA2, which are both at locus 16p13.3 ("HBA1," nd; "HBA2," nd). Not only do chimps also have two α-globin genes (Liebhaber & Begley, 1983), but "human and chimpanzee G-gamma, A-gamma, alpha, and beta globin sequences are identical (Goodman, Moore, & Barnabas, 1972, p.43)."
And if that wasn't bad enough, not only does the tight grouping of the α-globin genes indicate they came about by duplication (Orkin, 1978), but there is a great deal of evidence that duplication of globin genes has occurred many times throughout their evolutionary history (Goodman, Moore, & Barnabas, 1972). Since they are clearly prone to duplicate, differing counts would not be a problem anyway. As usual, not only is the claim false, but even if it were true, the implied claim (that it would be problematic for the evolutionary model) would still be false.
Humans have two types of RH genes (RHD and RHCE). Chimps and gorillas have three types of RH genes (intron 3/intron 4—CE/CE, D/D1, CE/D2, where RHCE=CE/CE RHD=D/D1 D2=D1+12-bp duplication). The only difference is that humans have one less intron to work with in putting to together alleles.
And it is true that chimpanzees have 3 RH genes per haploid genome, where as humans and gorillas have two (only one in other primates), but this is easily explained by a duplication, since the different RH genes themselves arose from an ancestral RH duplication in the human-chimp-gorilla ancestor.
So here's the timeline; an Alu-Sx inserted in the RH intron 4 of the Anthropoidea common ancestor. Then, in the human-chimp-gorilla ancestor, RH duplicated into RHD and RHCE, and the RHD intron 4 experienced a 654-bp deletion (along with the Alu-Sx) and a 12-bp duplication (GAGCAGGTTCAG) just 3' of that deletion. In the human linage, the gene with the intron 4 duplication was lost (Apoil & Blancher, 2000).Alu repeats:
Humans have ~1.09×10^6 Alu repeats (IHGS Consortium, 2001, Table 11, p.880). But only 7082 are not found in orthologous loci in chimpanzees (lineage-specific to humans), and chimpanzees only have 2340 lineage-specific Alu repeats (CSA Consortium, 2005, Table 2, p.75). So the difference in the number of Alu repeats is only ~0.4%.
But as small as the difference is, the cause for it is understood:
The majority of human Alu repeats are of the new, largely human-specific subfamilies Ya5, Yb8, Ya8, and Yb9, where as the majority in chimpanzees are of Yc1 (Hedges et al., 2004; Batzer & Deininger, 2002). Yc1 is similar to the ancestral source gene, where as the aforementioned newer Alus are divergent from the ancestral source gene (CSA Consortium, 2005, p.74).So between a decline in Alu activity in chimpanzees, the new Alu subfamily source genes in humans, and the small time those new Alus have had to replicate, it is clear as to why humans have a fraction of a percent more Alu repeats than chimpanzees.
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Goodman, M., G. W. Moore, J. Barnabas, and G. Matsuda. "The Phylogeny of Human Globin Genes Investigated by the Maximum Parsimony Method." J Mol Evol 3.1 (1974 Feb 28): 1-48. <http://www.springerlink.com/content/p5120442pkw117u8/>.
"HBA1 Hemoglobin, Alpha 1 [Homo Sapiens]." Entrez Gene. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Web. 18 Mar. 2010. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/gene/3039>.
"HBA2 Hemoglobin, Alpha 2 [Homo Sapiens]." Entrez Gene. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Web. 18 Mar. 2010. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/gene/3040>.
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