First Human Chromosome Fully Sequenced | The Institute for Creation Research
First Human Chromosome Fully Sequenced
Most people might be surprised to learn that the human genome has not been fully sequenced. Gaps still remain that have not yet been bridged because of the nature of the DNA sequence coupled with past limitations on DNA sequencing technology. Nevertheless, a study has just been published using new and improved technologies that have allowed for the first complete sequence of a human chromosome.1

Sequencing the complete human genome was first proposed and begun in the late 1980s, but did not pick up steam until the 1990s when robotic automation was applied to the process.2 In fact, the basic chemistry undergirding the sequencing process, known as Sanger-style sequencing originally invented in the 1970s, did not get usurped until about 2005 as new chemistries and technologies began to become available. The latest technologies, which allow for much larger snippets of DNA to be sequenced, have had a particularly large impact the past few years.

Because of past technology limitations, it has been difficult to sequence certain regions of the human and other vertebrate genomes and then assemble the numerous snippets afterwards. Because the older style DNA sequencing produced very short snippets of sequence and certain regions of chromosomes had groups of DNA letters (words) that were repeated over and over, it was difficult to computationally reconstruct long contiguous repetitive DNA stretches. New, long-read technologies that produce extremely long snippets of DNA are now allowing these difficult regions to be traversed.

This newly reported study presents a human genome assembly that markedly surpasses the continuity of the previous version, along with the first gapless, end-to-end reconstruction of a human chromosome.1 The researchers focused their efforts on a sex chromosome called the X chromosome. Females have two copies of the X chromosome and males have one X and one Y chromosome. Most importantly, these results demonstrate that completing the entire human genome is now within reach.

So what does this new study imply for the evolutionary story, particularly ape-to-human evolution? Quite interestingly, a variant of the new long-read sequencing technology was applied to chimp DNA and published in 2018.3 The researchers discovered that previous versions of the chimpanzee genome had been humanized because the human genome had been used as a guide to assemble the chimp DNA snippets. Furthermore, several independent studies using the new chimp DNA sequence were published showing that the chimp and human genomes could be no more than 85% similar to each other. Since many of these new regions in humans are being sequenced for the first time, as reported in this new study, which are already known to be dissimilar between chimps and humans (e.g. centromeres), it is likely that the numbers for human and chimp DNA dissimilarity will only grow larger.

References
1. Miga et al. 2020. Telomere-to-telomere assembly of a complete human X chromosome. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/s41586-020-2547-7.
2. Tomkins, J. 2011. How genomes are sequenced and why it matters: implications for studies in comparative genomics of humans and chimpanzees. Answers Research Journal. 4: 81-88.
3. Tomkins, J. P. 2018. Separate Studies Converge on Human-Chimp DNA Dissimilarity. Acts & Facts. 47 (11).

*Dr. Tomkins is Director of Research at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his doctorate in genetics from Clemson University.
The Latest
NEWS
A Supernova and the Scripture
Well, there goes another star, disappearing into the night as if it had never existed. For an entire year, Hubble scientists used the space telescope to...

NEWS
Milankovitch Ice Age Theory in the News
A letter to the editor in Nature Geoscience notes that this year marks the 100-year anniversary of Milutin Milankovitch’s (Milanković’s) book...

NEWS
Viking DNA Highlights Post-Babel Genetic Diversity
The standard theme often given for Viking history is that of blond-haired, blued-eyed, burly men exploring, trading, ransacking, and pillaging across Europe,...

NEWS
Getting Carbon into the First Cell
Today’s secular mindset replaces “In the beginning God…” with “In the beginning, hydrogen….” The extreme specificity...

NEWS
Secular Science Struggles to Explain Origin of Earth’s Water
Tim Clarey, Ph.D., and Jake Hebert, Ph.D. Secular scientists continue to struggle to explain the origin of Earth’s water. And a new study...

NEWS
South American Plant Fossils Confirm Flood Boundary
Jeffrey P. Tomkins, Ph.D., and Tim Clarey, Ph.D. Fossil pollen, leaf and fruit impressions, and petrified wood taken from multiple locations...

NEWS
Record-Breaking Mouse, Higher Than Any Mammal
Recently, researchers have reported on the world’s “highest-dwelling mammal,” the yellow-rumped leaf-eared mouse, observed upon a dormant...

NEWS
Was This Cave Bear Really “Prehistoric”?
The preserved carcass of a “prehistoric” cave bear has been discovered in melting permafrost on an Arctic Russian Island.1,2 Reindeer...

NEWS
Have Scientists Found Life on Venus?
Secular scientists are obsessed with attempting to show that life on Earth is not unique and therefore must exist, if not elsewhere in our solar system...

NEWS
Inside October 2020 Acts & Facts
What is ICR’s vision for the next chapter of creation ministry? Why do mosquitoes attack humans? How did we celebrate the first anniversary of...