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Study of Brazilians Exposes Largest Primate Gene Pool |  Sciences

Study of Brazilians Exposes Largest Primate Gene Pool | Sciences

Scientists from 24 countries have created the largest master gene bank ever created. The team — which includes ten Brazilians associated with research centers in Amazonas, Minas Gerais, Pará, Rondonia and Mato Grosso — combined the genome sequences of more than 800 individuals from 233 species, representing 86% of genera and all 16 families.

The work was published on Friday (2) and is part of a collection of articles published in a special edition of the scientific journal Sciences. By studying fossils, the initiative is bringing data on nearly half of all primate species on Earth, and has quadrupled the number of available genomes for these animals.

Research has identified 4.3 million mutations that affect amino acid composition and can alter protein function, leading to many human diseases. This was possible using the artificial intelligence algorithm PrimateAI-3D, from the sequencing company Illumina – a kind of “ChatGPT for genetics”, which uses genetic sequences instead of human language.

according to the account in the current situation Kyle Farrah, Vice President of Artificial Intelligence at Illumina, 6% of the 4.3 million mutations identified are abundant in primates. Therefore, “these are considered ‘benign’ in human diseases, as their presence is permissible in these animals,” Farah explains.

In addition to discovering milder mutations in us, the new genome catalog has halved the number of genetic innovations thought to be only human. This makes it easier to identify mutations that are not shared with primates and which, therefore, may be unique to evolution and the traits that make us human.

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“Studying hundreds of genomes of non-human primates, given their position in genetics, is of great value to studies of human evolution, to better understand the human genome and the foundations of our uniqueness,” highlights Thomas Marquis Bonnet, Professor of Genetics from the University of Pompeu Fabra (UPF) in the article. Spain, which co-led the project.

The new gene bank contains information on primates from Asia, America, Africa and Madagascar. Among the discoveries is that the yellow baboon (Papio cynocephalus) from western Tanzania were the first non-human primates to receive genetic information from three different lineages.

“These results indicate that the genetic structure of the population and the fusion history between the baboons lineages are more complex than previously thought, and show that baboons are a good model for the evolution of humans, Neanderthals, and Denisovans.” says Jeffrey Rogers, co-leader of the project and associate professor at Baylor College of Medicine in the US.

As Lukas Kuderna, first author of one of the collaboration studies adds, the team’s research also “provides clues about which species are most in need of conservation efforts and can help determine the most effective strategies for their conservation.”