The Human Genome and Our View of Ourselves

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Science  16 Feb 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5507, pp. 1219-1220
DOI: 10.1126/science.1056972


The completion of the human genome sequence, like other great human achievements such as the first lunar landing or splitting the atom, carries such significance because it changes the way that we think about ourselves, explains Pääbo in this Future Directions' article. Comparisons between our genome and those of other mammals (particularly the great apes) will reveal how similar we are to the rest of life on Earth. Yet the small differences between our genome and those of other animals should reveal what makes us uniquely human.