Sugar Separates Humans From Apes

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Science  23 Mar 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5512, pp. 2340
DOI: 10.1126/science.291.5512.2340a

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So far, the only identified gene that differs between humans and chimpanzees codes for an enzyme that makes a particular form of a sugar called sialic acid: Chimps, and all other mammals for that matter, have the gene, while humans do not. To Ajit and Nissi Varki, this fact may provide a clue to how evolutionary pressure and molecular biology interact to produce changes that have multiple consequences.