Lecture 6 - ANTHROPOLOGY 1 Professor Terrence Deacon...

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ANTHROPOLOGY 1 Professor Terrence Deacon 02/02/12 Lecture 06 ASUC Lecture Notes Online is the only authorized note-taking service at UC Berkeley. Do not share, copy, or illegally distribute (electronically or otherwise) these notes. Our student-run program depends on your individual subscription for its continued existence. These notes are copyrighted by the University of California and are for your personal use only. D O N O T C O P Y Sharing or copying these notes is illegal and could end note taking for this course. ANNOUNCEMENTS There is a reading posted and clearly labeled on bSpace that is going to be relevant for today’s lecture and next week’s lectures. The questions for next week’s quiz are also posted. Use the quiz questions we hand out each week as your study guide. Most of the questions on the midterm will be variants of ones that are posted. It’s a good guide as to what materials are relevant. Again, the midterm date has changed! It is now Thursday, March 15 th . LECTURE Today I will talk about sex and death , the most important issues for the study of evolution. I’m building up from the bottom, so to speak, starting with genes. What we’ve been doing so far is background material on what genes do and how they evolve. We can now start asking: how do genes pass on genetic information? How do they actually influence us? How is the way that the get passed on crucial to how we and other species behave? Last time, I showed you a diagram that captured the very first bits of evidence that primates were all related, and that you could genetically trace their ancestors to get a clear image of the past. If you take the entire lengths of DNA in our human body and the body of a chimpanzee and line them up, base pair by base pair, you are able to see remarkable similarities. Between humans and chimpanzees, there is very little difference between how the genes are laid out. On average, there are typically one or two differences, or SNPs, for every 100 base pairs. Chimpanzees and humans share homologous genes in which the DNA is roughly 99% identical in sequence. Some codons , however, are synonymous ; even though they’re slightly different, they don’t code for a different amino acid. Therefore, it does not follow that 1 out of every 100 amino acids is different in chimps and humans. A typical gene is made up of 200-400 base pairs , so there are usually around 2-4 base substitutions between each chimp and human gene, and maybe one or two amino acids that are different in each protein. This might mean that there are slight changes in shape, but perhaps not function. Chimp and human proteins are basically the same, and many are even swappable . Differences matter, but they are not necessarily as remarkable as we think. All of those differences have accumulated over the
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Lecture 6 - ANTHROPOLOGY 1 Professor Terrence Deacon...

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