Similar amino acid sequences: chance or common ancestry?

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Science  09 Oct 1981:
Vol. 214, Issue 4517, pp. 149-159
DOI: 10.1126/science.7280687


The systemic comparison of every newly determined amino acid sequence with all other known sequences may allow a complete reconstruction of the evolutionary events leading to contemporary proteins. But sometimes the surviving similarities are so vague that even computer-based sequence comparisons procedures are unable to validate relationships. In other cases similar sequences may appear in totally alien proteins as a result of mere chance or, occasionally, by the convergent evolution of sequences with special properties.

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