Human vs. Animal DNA: How alike are we?

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Difference between Human and Animal DNA

At the center of every living creature on the planet is a blueprint–a map if you will–of its genetic makeup. This is called DNA and it influences everything from the organism’s physical structure to its appearances and even its mental processes. It is interesting to note however, that for all our vast differences, our DNA is actually a lot more alike than different. Nevertheless, it is those slight disparities that make humans so different from animals. Let's look at some of the key characteristics of human and animal DNA.

Genetic Differences

Given the vast physical differences between humans and animals, it is interesting to note just how similar their DNA is. DNA is actually a code comprised of 4 nucleotides or types of molecules known as adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine. The cellular machinery in the body reads these molecules and creates a backup of the RNA, which is translated into more complex molecules called amino acids, which are essential components to protein formation. What makes human and animal DNA different is the processing that occurs. To sum it up, there is basically no difference between human and animal DNA except for its underlying codes and the actual amount of DNA present, which may vary from species to species.


Since human and animal DNA are virtually the same, the differences in species are accounted for by the order in which the code is assembled. In each and every single creature, the order of the previously mentioned nucleotides adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine are switched around. This order will determine a) what the organism will be, and b) how it will work.

End Results

The arrangement of the four nucleotides in human and animal DNA determines the types of proteins that will be made. Depending on this arrangement, the organism in question may develop scales, appendages, skin, and various other body parts and features.It is also interesting to note that the amino acid sequences in closely related species are more similar than that of two genetically distant species. For example, human DNA will be a lot more like rabbit DNA than rose plant DNA. Much of the information gleaned from DNA determines the classification of plants, animals and humans.So called junk DNA is speculated as not being junk DNA after all. Junk DNA has traditionally been observed as random filaments floating within cells but recently biologists have observed changes in the behavior of these junk filaments. There are no scientific hypotheses as yet to the cause or result of the changes. New age proponents assert that human junk DNA is in the process of recombining with the existing DNA structures as humans evolve.


Human DNA

  • Is responsible for common physical traits and characteristics
  • Not as different from animal DNA as many people would like to think
  • Has a specific number of chromosomes
  • DNA is more similar to animal DNA than it is to plant DNA

Animal DNA

  • Is actually identical to human DNA, with only few crucial differences
  • Genome sizes in the DNA vary from organism to organism
  • Is closer in structure to human DNA than to plant DNA
  • Has more chromosomes than plants


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