No offense, but you’re not that (genetically) different from yeast

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Rip open a little package of baker’s yeast from the supermarket, peer inside, and you’ll see your distant cousin.

That’s because we share a common ancestor with yeast, and a new study in the journal Science suggest that we also share hundreds of genes that haven’t really changed in a billion years.

Edward Marcotte, a biologist at the University of Texas at Austin, knew that humans and yeast have thousands of similar genes. But, he wondered, how similar are they?

Rip open a little package of baker’s yeast from the supermarket, peer inside, and you’ll see your distant cousin.

That’s because we share a common ancestor with yeast, and a new study in the journal Science suggest that we also share hundreds of genes that haven’t really changed in a billion years.

Edward Marcotte, a biologist at the University of Texas at Austin, knew that humans and yeast have thousands of similar genes. But, he wondered, how similar are they?

What they found was that roughly half of these yeast genes could be readily replaced with the human version.

The researchers next looked to see if they could figure out some rules that explained why some genes were interchangeable between people and yeast and others weren’t. They noted that genes tend to belong to sets that are related to specific jobs or processes in the cell — and genes in the same set tended to be either all replaceable, or not.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: You And Yeast Have More In Common Than You Might Think