Sea urchins are part-human

Agenše France-Presse
Friday, 10 November 2006

Scientists who have sequenced the genome of the sea urchin say these brainless and limbless invertebrates are surprisingly similar to humans.

They found that the California purple sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) genome has 23,300 genes.

And it shares 7077 of them with humans.

The genetic ties are far closer than scientists expect and make the sea urchin a closer genetic cousin of humans than the worm or fruit fly, according to the study in today's issue of the journal Science.

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