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http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/stories/2006/1785449.htm

Lovely Nutmeg sent me this fascinating article, titled

Sea urchins are part-human

which reveals that we share a large number of genes with the spiny sea creatures:

Scientists who have sequenced the genome of the sea urchin say these brainless and limbless invertebrates are surprisingly similar to humans.

They found that the California purple sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) genome has 23,300 genes.

And it shares 7077 of them with humans.

The genetic ties are far closer than scientists expect and make the sea urchin a closer genetic cousin of humans than the worm or fruit fly, according to the study in today’s issue of the journal Science.

What I find curious is that sea urchins can probably boast of several million years more worth of genetic development than homo sapiens. Why is the article not titled Humans are part sea-urchin?

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