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Duplication in genomes may separate humans from apes

A sudden peak in copying and rearranging of DNA shaped great ape species

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2:04pm, February 11, 2009

Although it may not be as dramatic as the Big Bang birthing the universe, an explosion of DNA duplication in the common ancestor of humans, chimpanzees and gorillas may be responsible for many of the differences among the species, a new study suggests. The big blowup happened 8 million to 12 million years ago, but its effects are still apparent today.

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