Human vs. Animal DNA: How alike are we?

  • By reComparison Contributor
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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.

Makeup

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.

Summary

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

Which species has more DNA strands?
  • Human
  • Animal DNA
 
 

Discuss It: comments 18

so does it mean that if we rearrange the adenine, thymine, guanine and cytosine's arrangement, would we have human and animal-like features together? like half-human, half-werewolf? i know it's kinda weird to ask this.. but i was just wondering cause i'm writing this short story but i really do not know how to explain the result of the merging of the animal DNA and human DNA...help me!

  • Guest
  • janice sutton wrote on August 2016

I suppose you could explain it this way, with GCAT Codon of an animal was mixed with a human and it goes pass growth stage of mitosis. We could possibly have a wing or they (animal) could have a arm or something. If there were was a coning.

  • Guest
  • stormy wrote on last month

Have you seen a human fetus? We have a tail! We have gills! Come on! Humans are animals and I say that with a low growl! Look at how religion has dumbed us down. Separated us from all life. Put us at the top. Oh we are so very much more intelligent than animals and plants? Conflict of interest don't you think? When you learn more about science hopefully you will lose arrogance and gain humility and be able to feel AWE about the world and life and the universe. We are so small and insignificant and the world is huge and truly unknowable by us humans. We aren't meant to know or see or hear or taste or feel or smell anything more than what our species needs to SURVIVE. That is it.

  • Guest
  • stormy wrote on last month

Animals and humans are the same. We are just a different family, the primates. I find it hilarious that people think we humans form a separate KINGDOM. 2 kingdoms; animal and plant. Not animal, human and plant!

My question is how the **** do we share 99% DNA with plants. This makes it sound that DNA was first, the blueprints of life and life forms. Too weird. How did DNA evolve from single cellular life to become blueprints for both plant and animals? That insinuates we had a common multicellular ancestor between plants and animals. OR the DNA was a blueprint given by (a large virus don't you dare say some God) at the very beginning.

Humans are simply a branch of the animal kingdom. There was no MERGING.

  • Guest
  • b s paup jr wrote on January 2013

lots to explain. be glad you are human.

  • Guest
  • stormy wrote on last month

I am a very embarrassed human. Of being a human. We are so lame. We do not belong to any ecosystem. When we go extinct there will not be a single species that will shed a tear. Oh, the cattle, the cats, the dogs, will for awhile but again not a tear. We are not necessary to any ecosystem on this thin blue line...because of our arrogance, we are NOT the top dog the smartest knife in the dishwasher! How funny. One needs to have a handle on all sciences to understand evolution (which we are still learning btw) and get off this Humans are the Top Dog Train!

  • Guest
  • SMARTY PANTS NICK NAME wrote on March 2014

I AM LEARING HAHAH

  • Guest
  • why wrote on November 2016

you spelled that wrong

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Hello!

  • Guest
  • stormy wrote on last month

Think about this 'fact' that we animals share 99% DNA with plants. Think about that! There are only TWO kingdoms, not 3! Plant and Animal! Not Plant, Animal and Human. Until one is able to get over our own SPECIES not kingdom one will never understand the little we do know about evolution and DNA. We will always be stupid enough to use the word RACE to describe our one and only species of animal, the primate Homo sapiens sapiens. We differently colored hairless animals are as close as siblings for DNA. We have these big brains and we do not use them very well at all. 10% only? I disagree with those numbers of our brain use but why would nature give an organism a huge brain that they only make 10% use and yet we have to use major calories for upkeep? Maybe we use our brain but we have no idea what we are doing in the background. Like we are just along for the ride in our frontal lobes? I happen to know plants and animals quite well and for us humans to even utter the words, "Humans are the Apex of life on this planet" means you are using even less than 10%...you are purposely estranging yourself from all other life forms...possibly you believe you were wanded into being?

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