Once upon a time in the 1960s, scientists thought the human genome might contain as many as 2 million genes, units of DNA that code for proteins. But ever since then, the estimated number has been steadily shrinking. A new study suggests that the human genome could contain as few as 19,000 protein-coding genes, fewer than nematode worms.
Researchers came up with the new estimate, detailed in a paper submitted to Molecular Biology and Evolution, by performing a variety of analyses such as filtering “out the human genes that are not present in other species and do not have a structure likely to code for a protein.”
Of course, research has shown that more complex organisms don’t require more genes.
Read the full, original story: Humans May Have Fewer Genes Than Worms