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ID 15149

Human smell receptors, Svante Paabo

Description:
Interviewee: Svante Paabo. Evolutionary geneticist Svante Paabo talks about the status of human smell receptors. (DNAi Location: Applications > Human origins > Comparisons > DNA > Human smell receptors)
Transcript:
So one of these classes of genes that are interesting to study when you're interested in differences between humans and other organisms are the receptors involved in smell. We have a lot of genes for smelling, actually, we have about a thousand genes in our genome that are involved in sensing odors, in sensing substances that we can smell. But what's amazing is that over half of them are pseudogenes that have been inactivated; they have mutations in them that make them nonfunctional. And if we compare that to the situation in the apes, we've found that the majority of the genes in the apes are actually active; it is something around 30% of them have these mutations. So we have obviously lost a lot of our ability to smell.
Keywords:
smell receptors,human origins,location applications,pseudogenes,interviewee,geneticist,mutations,genes,genome,organisms,dna
Creative Commons License This work by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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