Can you genetically engineer a chimp to make a human? (Thinkstock)
Can you genetically engineer a chimp to make a human?
Lexile

You asked us a question. "If we share 98 percent of the same DNA with chimpanzees, could you genetically engineer the rest to make it into a human?"
 
Okay, Dr. Moreau, settle down. We are not making any human-animal hybrids around here. Even if we wanted to, it does not mean we can.
 
There is something important that you should realize. We have 98 percent of the same DNA. But, it does not mean we're 98 percent identical.
 
Look at a banana. A banana shares about 50 percent of the same DNA as humans.  But you would never confuse one for the other.  
 
DNA is basically a set of chemical instructions. The instructions tell cells how to make proteins. That in turn, makes us.
 
Little differences in the instructions can make big differences. And that is not just in how separate species turn out. But, even how members of the same species turn out.
 
Humans and chimps do share a common ancestor. So, of course we share a lot of the same DNA instructions. The instructions are key for things like opposable thumbs. They are for no tail or relying on sight more than smell. Not to mention the many, many characteristics we share with all mammals.
 
But we also have big differences. Pound for pound, chimps are stronger. But they cannot throw as well. They can communicate simple ideas.  But they do not really get pointing. They make tools out of sticks. We make tools that can sequence DNA.
 
But hopefully, we will never make a tool to create a human-chimp hybrid. Because both species are remarkable enough on their own.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why can't we genetically engineer a chimp to make a human?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (8)
  • austiemm0-dil
    1/08/2016 - 01:55 p.m.

    "A banana shares 50 percent same DNA as humans". But you would never confuse one for the other. I agree with this opinion,because us humans and bananas are totaly diffrent things.wouldn't us humans and bananas have somthing in coman to have 50 percent same DNA?

  • mescol-fel
    1/20/2016 - 03:00 p.m.

    awesome article about chimps.

    • mescoy-fel
      1/25/2016 - 03:00 p.m.

      It is really cool

  • bagadr-fel
    1/20/2016 - 03:01 p.m.

    It's cool that we have the same things in common!

  • quiemi-fel
    1/20/2016 - 03:02 p.m.

    why are we a lot like monkeys? its really weird. They seem about as smart as us.

  • bagadr-fel
    1/25/2016 - 02:47 p.m.

    quiemi-fel i feel the same way as you.

  • edakay-fel
    2/01/2016 - 03:05 p.m.

    Well if scientists ever decide to make a chimp into a human they wouid have to shave some hair.

  • marquisk-rom
    2/26/2016 - 02:26 p.m.

    If they make the hybrid it will be named ''Human-zee''

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