First Phase Complete in Human and Chimp Genome-Wide DNA Comparison | The Institute for Creation Research

First Phase Complete in Human and Chimp Genome-Wide DNA Comparison

The ICR life sciences team has been conducting a large-scale comparison project of human versus chimp DNA sequence, the first phase of which has now been completed. The research involved the use of 40,000 purportedly random chimpanzee DNA sequences obtained from the National Center for Biotechnology that were produced as part of the chimpanzee genome project.1, 2 The sequences, on average, were 740 nucleotides each and were compared to four different versions of the human genome that were each ~3 billion bases. The DNA sequences were compared using a commonly employed algorithm called BLASTN.1

The BLASTN algorithm works by finding initial DNA base matches for the query sequence (chimp) compared to a target database (human) of a certain pre-specified length called “word sizes.”3 These initial matches are then extended outward in both directions until the matches are no longer statistically significant for similarity based on a pre-specified level of mathematical stringency called an “e-value” (or the query sequence ends). The end result of each successful query is called an alignment, often referred to as a database “hit.” Common default values used for BLASTN alignments include a word size of 11 and an e-value of 10. In this study, 15 different experiments testing combinations of three different word sizes (7, 11, and 15) and five different e-values (1,000, 10, 0.1, 0.001, and 0.00001) were performed. A simplified illustration of a hypothetical DNA alignment between two DNA sequences is shown in Figure 1.

If present, the top alignment data (database hit) for each chimp query sequence were obtained. Depending on the e-value and word size combination, the average aligned region of each chimp sequence varied between 122 to 181 bases, 16 to 24 percent, respectively. Excluding data for the large amount of chimp sequence that failed to align, a very conservative estimate of human-chimp DNA similarity genome-wide is 86.4 to 88.9 percent, based on the initial round of research data. It is noteworthy that the parameters that produced the longest and more statistically robust alignments also produced the lowest similarities. Obviously, if the non-aligning chimp data were included in the final data summary, estimated similarities would be even lower.

The initial phase of this study was conducted with 600,000 attempted alignments under conditions that allowed for the comparison of all DNA sequence in both the chimp and human data sets. However, it may surprise people to know that when evolutionists compare DNA sequences, they employ something called low-complexity sequence masking, a feature that is thought to remove abundant DNA sequences that are less complex than those commonly associated with protein-coding regions. The masking (electronic removal) of these sequences in the comparison process speeds up the algorithm significantly.

Therefore, the second phase of these experiments is being conducted using the same algorithm parameters (word size and e-value combinations), with the addition of low complexity sequence masking to more accurately represent conditions that an evolutionist would use. A report on this second round of experiments, along with a complete summary of the entire study, will be provided in an upcoming issue of Acts & Facts.

References

  1. More information is available at blast.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
  2. The Chimpanzee Sequencing and Analysis Consortium. 2005. Initial sequence of the chimpanzee genome and comparison with the human genome. Nature. 437 (7055): 69-87.
  3. Altschul , S. F. et al. 1990. Basic local alignment search tool. Journal of Molecular Biology. 215 (3): 403-410.

* Dr. Tomkins is Research Associate at the Institute for Creation Research and received his Ph.D. in Genetics from Clemson University.

Cite this article: Tomkins, J. 2011. First Phase Complete in Human and Chimp Genome-Wide DNA Comparison. Acts & Facts. 40 (12): 6.

The Latest
NEWS
Brainy Paper Wasps
Wasps (Family Vespidae) have a bad rap, but their benefits actually outweigh their painful sting—although many would disagree! What is the function...

CREATION PODCAST
The Secrets of the Cell | The Creation Podcast: Episode 29
Cells are the basic units of life, and in some forms they are actually organisms. What is a cell? What goes on inside of a cell? Did all life come from...

NEWS
Fossil Footprints Fit Flood Ice-Age Model
Anthropologists Thomas Urban (Cornell University) and Daron Duke (Far Western Anthropological Research Group) recently found preserved human footprints...

NEWS
Deep-Sea Lobster Microbiome
Research continues regarding complex and amazing microbiomes found on or within a variety of creatures.1 The microbiome is a microbial community...

NEWS
"Massively Exciting" Fossil Find
Now this is exciting: “Geologists have found the fossil of the earliest known animal predator. The 560-million-year-old specimen is the first of...

NEWS
Copulation Didn't Kill the Frogs, the Flood Did
Evolutionary scientists recently studied 168 frog fossils from central Germany, concluding that the frogs all drowned while aggressively mating. They claim...

CREATION PODCAST
What Can We Learn From Fossils? | The Creation Podcast: Episode...
Is evolution seen in the fossil record? Why are fossilized terrestrial animals found buried with marine creatures? What conditions were needed to form...

NEWS
Be Not Deceived: Spiritually Train to Overcome Secular Science...
Thorough instruction and discipline are the hallmark qualities of a strong military training program. Well-trained soldiers can think on their feet, adapt...

CREATION.LIVE PODCAST
Jurassic World: Dominion - Fun Movie, Bad Science | Creation.Live...
Covered in feathers, running faster than cars, and living in cold climates...these are just a few of the ideas introduced in Jurassic World: Dominion....

NEWS
CET Model in Plants Is Clearly Seen
Plant scientists have known for decades that plants aren’t just static entities. The half-million or more species of plants in the world display...