Humans share 92% of their genes with mice

Every living organism is given its individual characteristics by slight differences in the arrangement and structure of the genes present in the cells of the organism. Within a species, these differences are very minute; more than 99.99% of the genes are shared by any two members of the species. When you compare the genes of different species, however, the number of genes shared becomes much lower.

Humans and apes, particularly chimpanzees, share a vast majority of their genes. In fact, around 98% of genes are common in the two species. This should not come as a surprise, as it is well known that humans (homo sapiens), and chimpanzees evolved from a common ancestor thousands of years ago. What it perhaps a little surprising is that humans share a lot of genes with mice. Yes, mice. Despite the obvious differences in size, shape and habits, the two species share around 92% of their genes. Bizarrely, humans also share around 51% of genes with fruit flies, and 18% with the E. Coli bacterium.

After seeing those images you may horrified at how much you share in common with a disgusting insect. But don’t take it personally; that’s just how genetics works.



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