Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Evolution: Breakthrough of 2005

Science magazine has named advances in evolution research as the top scientific breakthrough of 2005. One major breakthrough in 2005 was the sequencing of the chimpanzee genome, revealing a 4% difference with that of humans. By closely comparing it with the human genome, researchers will be able to uncover the genetic basis for many diseases. They will also be able to examine every evolutionary change that took place to now distinguish us from our distant cousins. Also in 2005, major advances in the understanding of speciation took place. New evidence revealed how members of the same species could split into two species, even if the were not isolated. One example was seen in a species of European birds, where one group would reach a common breeding ground slightly before the other. Ironically 2005 also saw a strong push to begin teaching intelligent design as an alternative to evolution. Fortunately a US court banned the notion as it was a thinly disguised version of creationism.



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