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Biotech Science

Are You Man or Mouse? 72

fygment writes "... according to recent studies. It seems were more closely related to rodents than the carnivores i.e. the primates didn't evolve from the noble jungle cats, wolves, etc. Were closer to rats. Of course this has long been suspected in lawyers and SCO execs ..."
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Are You Man or Mouse?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 17, 2003 @11:10PM (#6720148)
    so watch your tounge when you are saying they are lawyers.. or even SCO execs.. you insensitive clod!
  • Biology I (Score:5, Funny)

    by InsaneCreator ( 209742 ) on Sunday August 17, 2003 @11:13PM (#6720156)
    Of course this has long been suspected in lawyers and SCO execs ...

    I believe you are having trouble telling the difference between rodents and dung beetles.
  • Recent? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Henry V .009 ( 518000 ) on Sunday August 17, 2003 @11:14PM (#6720160) Journal
    I believe that this "news" has been known for nearly all of the 20th century. I'm not sure where the article gets off talking about:
    recently proposed trees of mammalian evolution indicating that primates (human, chimpanzee, baboon) are more closely related to rodents (mouse, rat) than to carnivores (cat, dog) or artiodactyls (cow, pig).
    • Re:Recent? (Score:5, Informative)

      by kramer2718 ( 598033 ) on Monday August 18, 2003 @01:27AM (#6720634) Homepage
      According to the Tree of Life Web Project [], all the animals mentioned (rodents, felines, humans) belong to the infraclass Eutheria [](placental mammals).

      If you look closely at the tree, you will see that the Tree of Life does indeed have order Rodentia closer to the order Primates. I recall learning this in high-school biology, also.

      Yes this does seem to be a bit of old news.

      • No (Score:5, Interesting)

        by axolotl_farmer ( 465996 ) on Monday August 18, 2003 @06:00AM (#6721243)
        Tha part of the tree you refer to is unresolved , a polytomy.

        What is important in a phylogenetic tree is branching order. When the branching order is uncertain or ambiguous, a polytomy is put in place. The placement of the branches in a polytomy are usually arbitrary, or in alphabetical order.

        From the tree, you can tell that primates are most closely related to tree shrews, and that the group (primates + tree shrews) in turn is most closely related to bats and colugos.
    • That same bit of text jumped out at me as well. This article is hyped as saying we're closer to rats then anything else, but really, it's still just saying that primates (human, chimpanzee, baboon) are closer to rats then we are to cats, dogs, cows, and pigs.
      Thanks, I couldn't have figured that myself. I suppose the follow up article is that cats, dogs, cows and pigs are closer to rats then they are to fish.
      What a non story.
    • Re:Recent? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RobotWisdom ( 25776 )
      The interesting point is that junk DNA has some still-unknown function, so the disappointing figure of 30,000 genes isn't as bad as we feared.

      Regarding mice-etc, primates began as shrews who climbed trees and developed their eyesight, mammalian carnivores like cats evolved much later from the shrews that stayed on the ground.

  • by E_elven ( 600520 ) on Sunday August 17, 2003 @11:18PM (#6720175) Journal
    ..but that doesn't explain why my tail is on the front side.
  • This story writeup (Score:3, Insightful)

    by skookum ( 598945 ) on Sunday August 17, 2003 @11:22PM (#6720185)
    The blurb from "fygment" must have been written by a mouse, as there's hardly a complete sentence in that jumble of incoherent fragments. I find this situation has become all too common on slashdot recently. If you can't be bothered to write a cohesive paragraph with complete sentences, then stop submitting to slashdot. You may not think it's important, but when you write things that will be read by a number of people it is essential. Use whatever style you want in email or IM but if you're going to submit something for public consumption you should take the time to learn how to use English, otherwise you just come off looking like a rambling idiot.

    • Could be worse. I work with people who can't conjugate verbs, use the wrong 'to' and just can't speak English. They send countless internal documents based on previous mail messages where they cut and paste the same piss-poor spelling and grammar.
      Would you have someone from your team to look for part number XXXXXXX?

      They make ol' fygments (sic) look like a Pulitzer.
      • Example:
        Would you have someone from your team to look for part number XXXXXXX?

        Bad example. In defense of "effective-enough communications", I'd like to point out that the error you highlighted didn't detract from my understanding of the message.

        I can understand how someone in a hurry (or without a college-level education) could add the "to" and put "look" in the infinitive. In fact, if I go to look at the sentence long enough, it looks just fine!
    • I don't play Grammarian very often, but you've got a valid (if offtopic) point. But you really don't go far enough:

      Use whatever style you want in email or IM...

      I disagree with this premise, because "practice makes perfect" only works if you're practicing perfectly (you can thank my daughter's piano teacher for that one). I don't care if it's email, IM, or a sticky-note on your monitor... what's it going to hurt to do it right?

      Of course, my 12-year-old just rolls her eyes when I tell her to write her
  • Does this explain pack rats?
  • 42 (Score:5, Funny)

    by Hungus ( 585181 ) on Sunday August 17, 2003 @11:54PM (#6720279) Journal
    But we knew this all along after all the mice built this planet

    "Mice are not, as is commonly assumed on Earth, small white squeaking animals who spend a lot of time being experimented on.

    In fact, they are the protrusions into our dimension of hyper-intellegent pan-dimensional beings. These beings are in fact responsible for the creation of the Earth."

    See the video here [] waning its real media
  • wha...? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Tumbleweed ( 3706 ) on Monday August 18, 2003 @12:12AM (#6720328)
    > i.e. the primates didn't evolve from the noble jungle cats, wolves, etc.

    And just who the hell ever thought they _had_? This is hardly news for anyone who went through public school in the U.S. in the last, oh, 25 years or so. This is analogous to saying, "It turns out the Moon isn't made of recycled condoms." Okay, I think we already knew that.
  • wasnt this found out like years ago, i thought it was common knowledge..
  • Does this explain the Mallrats?
  • Tree of life online (Score:5, Informative)

    by njchick ( 611256 ) on Monday August 18, 2003 @01:47AM (#6720683) Journal
    You can browse the tree of life [] starting from its root []. If we descend to mammals [], we'll see that lines that lead to rodents, primates and carnivors all start in the same point. Of course, it's unlikely that several branches start in the same point of evolution. It's more likely that the tree divides into two branches and then divides again.

    Perhaps this research will allow to make some adjustments to the tree. However, there are already interesting facts in the current version. For example, bats are closer to primates than most other mammals. On the other hand, armadillos must have branched very early, although they did it after opossums.

  • by mnmn ( 145599 ) on Monday August 18, 2003 @01:49AM (#6720688) Homepage
    The mammalian line forks into one group that goes on to split into felines and canines, and another that further splits into rodents and primates.

    Next this poster will post an article that says Birds are closer to reptiles than to humans. I'm no biologist but I can tell when someone tries to pass an encyclopaedia fact for a breakthrough news.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Do you only have one button?
  • summary (Score:2, Informative)

    by gooru ( 592512 )
    In case you have no idea what the submission actually says (I must've read it ten times over before giving up), this is the one from the top of the article:

    Summary: A pioneering study comparing the genes of 13 species has uncovered clues to how the vertebrate family tree might have evolved. One intriguing result is that primates, including humans, are closer to rodents than carnivores or cows and pigs. Many pieces of DNA that don't even code for proteins in all these species however are conserved, sugges
  • Steinbeck (Score:5, Funny)

    by gooru ( 592512 ) on Monday August 18, 2003 @03:35AM (#6720955)
    So, I suppose this means the title of Steinbeck's book Of Mice and Men is redundant.
  • ... or do the decent thing and pull it off the site.

    Editors need some basic depth in the fields discussed at least to ensure they don't make a mockery target of themselves and the site in general.
    • Go play quake three and wonder why genetics stories make it to a post about science. This is a hell of a to the point scientific post. Grow TFU, or only use your computer to play games, and be another /. lame brain.
  • Well Dah??? (Score:2, Troll)

    by ratfynk ( 456467 )
    We are closely related to creatures that climb trees to escape preditors, we have been known to do the same. I was once treed by a Grizzly myself. Humans have been on the carnivor diner list in the past and in some situations they still are. It should come as no suprise that we are closer in genetics to rats than cats. Rodents can be very preditory in the right situation. I am not at all suprised by these findings. Unfortunately the ignorant religous fundimentalists are going to have another reason to bas
  • I believe it has already been the consensus for many years that primates and rodents had a common rodent-like ancestor. So all this really does is confirm what we already knew, in the face of some minor wacko fringe theory about cat ancestors that nobody paid any attention to anyway.
  • 42 (Score:2, Funny)

    by Sleepindog ( 50956 )
    Well, i guess you could argue that we are descended from mice, in that we are their creation (to find the ultimate question)

    PS Unless I'm one of the inferior parts of this computer and didn't see it, I'm surprised there was no D.Adams reference before.
  • I, for one, (Score:4, Funny)

    by QEDog ( 610238 ) on Monday August 18, 2003 @10:42AM (#6722388)
    I, for one, welcome our new rodent overlords!
  • I often heard that rats are used so much as test animals in laboratories because they react similarly to humans when you expose them to chemicals, lack or abundance of food etc.
  • Species habits (Score:3, Interesting)

    by phorm ( 591458 ) on Monday August 18, 2003 @04:17PM (#6725836) Journal
    As an owner of pet rats, one thing I've noticed is their sometimes disturbing similarities to humans in habit.

    At one point, my two female rats were constantly squeeking and making noise at night. No problem, nocturnal animals, they're just more active in the dark. However, I also noticed that oftimes when I turned on the lights, that the rodents were "cleaning each other" in a position often labelled as a number just shy of seventy.
    Now, at first I dismissed this, thinking that I was imagining things. However, after talking to several rat owners and a few petshops, I have garnered that this can indeed be more than simply a hygienic practice.

    Afterwards, I'd throw things at the cage when they made too much noise to shut them up. At least until one morning after I found they'd dragged in the shirt I'd thrown and perforated it for nesting material. I liked that shirt too.

    Now, I've got two new rats. They don't often exhibit the same behavior as the old ones, but sometimes they will. I'm considering breeding one of them (baby rodents being quite cute 'n all), and I wonder if this will change their behavior towards each other after the babies have grown (and one rat has had an encounter of the opposite sex as opposed to the same). And of course, if I got enough rats perhaps I could make some of this []
  • We are DEVO!
  • There's a reason most reseachers use mice and rats, and it's not just because of size. Scientists have known for some time that we are most similar to mice in some respects, escpecially in how our immune systems function.

Only God can make random selections.