Researchers in Cambridge have deciphered the genetic system of the gorilla the previous of the huge Ape genuses to be sequenced. First comparisons verify that chimpanzees are our neighboring relatives, sharing 99% of our DNA. Gorillas come a close second with 98%, and orangutans third with a 97% share.
Though on average we are closest to chimps, many of our individual genes are more like those of gorillas. Researchers searched all the way through more than 11,000 genes in her genome, as well as in the published versions of the human, chimp and orangutan genetic codes, for changes important in development. One genetic difference that will be of attention to medical researchers is an alteration that results in dementia in humans, but seems to leave gorillas completely unchanged.