Can you make a man out of a monkey? Ask Smithsonian (Smithsonian.com)
Can you make a man out of a monkey?
Lexile

Humans share ninety eight percent of their DNA with chimpanzees, so could you genetically engineer the rest to make it into a human? Settle down, were not making any human-animal hybrids around here.

Even if we wanted to, it doesnt mean we can. See, the important thing to realize is, even though we have 98% of the same DNA, it doesnt mean were 98% identical. Look at a banana. A banana shares about 50% of the same DNA as humans and youd 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, make us. Little differences in the instructions can make big differences in not just how separate species turn out, but even how members of the same species turn out. So yes, since humans and chimps share a common ancestor, of course we share a lot of the same DNA instructions instructions for things like opposable thumbs, 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 cant throw as well. They can communicate simple ideas, but they dont really get pointing. They make tools out of sticks, and we make tools that can sequence DNA.

But hopefully, well never make a tool to create a human-chimp hybrid. Because both species are remarkable enough on their own.

Critical thinking challenge: Why do chimpanzees need to be pound-for-pound stronger than humans?

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COMMENTS (21)
  • jwClemmy0826
    5/19/2014 - 08:38 a.m.

    Chimps need to have the strength because it evens out the advantages in the wild. They need to need to be able to fend predators off in order to survive.

  • salvador98anchondo
    5/19/2014 - 10:42 a.m.

    I think you can make a man with a monkey and they need to be strong in order for them to stay safe in their land. But they can also go on to another place where humans live because they have 98% of DNA related with humans.

  • CarlosRios
    5/19/2014 - 11:48 a.m.

    a mi se me hace interesante que 90% de chimpanzees es la humana del dna. esto pueder ser que humanos evolucionadon de chimpanzees.

  • BrandonI
    5/19/2014 - 01:32 p.m.

    I was scared when I started reading this, I was thinking that they were starting to do human-chimp hybrids. It is still hard to believe that we share fifty percent of the same DNA with bananas.

  • KailynPa
    5/19/2014 - 01:34 p.m.

    I think DNA research is cool, but I also think trying to make humans out of other materials is rather dumb. Scientists are always saying the world is overpopulated anyways, so why are we trying to genetically engineer humans?

  • 3ShaylaW
    5/19/2014 - 04:17 p.m.

    I think that it is cool that humans and chimpanzees have 98% of the same DNA. It's weird though that humans and bananas share 50% of the same DNA. It's interesting that just a 2% difference makes us look so different. I think that chimpanzees have to be stronger than humans, because they have to swing around in trees and run away from predators. Also because they love differently then humans.

  • 8taylor.w
    5/19/2014 - 05:19 p.m.

    monkeys are animals that act on there own so they have their own instincts as well as humans having their own. but merging the two things together to make a hybrid is a interesting idea, but they are different beings. so i dot think personally that it is possible. i mean to think of being the same as a monkey or any other species, that funny, cool, and a little creepy. Lastly i think it would be cool to be part monkey because they have very complex minds and strategies in their habitats. for food, water, animals, companions, and living. Then again i think that we are human so we have our own instincts to rely on.

  • brianae-Koc
    5/20/2014 - 12:40 a.m.

    I believe that monkey are just humans who have not evolved yet. In my opinion monkeys are just as smart as we are. They probably speak the language cavemen use to speak cause that carried on. Just like Jorge of the jungle learned how to communicate with animals and humans. They are all like us we all have our own languages.

  • qj9polo
    5/20/2014 - 01:00 p.m.

    we probably could make a man out of a monkey. all it would really take is a little bit of science.it probably would take a very long time.

  • im23nolife
    5/21/2014 - 08:49 a.m.

    Chimps are primitive and they compete in a harsh environment so they need to endure more and they have adapted to survive in their environment .

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