half banana

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half banana

Post by Ken Greenwald » Thu Jun 03, 2010 6:56 am

I somehow danced through high school and college without ever having taken a biology course. Of course genetics and DNA weren’t topics back then, so it wouldn’t have made any difference in my understanding of this stuff anyway.

I was reading this week’s issue of The Week, a respectable news magazine which I thoroughly enjoy, when I came upon the following:
<2010 “Most scientists agree that humans share 98.5 percent of our genetic code with chimpanzees. However, it would be very misleading to say that humans are therefore 98.5 percent chimp. We also share 50% of our DNA with bananas, but that doesn’t make us half plantain. What makes each kind of biological organism unique is determined by their small genetic differences, not their numerically greater similarities.”—The Week, 4 June, page 44>
Now, I can understand humans and chimps sharing a great deal of DNA. We both have fingers eyes, noises, legs, lungs, a brain (mostly) similar reproductive organs, etc. But what in hell do we have in common with a banana, that 50% of our DNA should be the same? They have no blood, no bones, no muscles, they are immobile, don't breath, exist thanks to photosynthesis, . . . I suppose we are made up of cells, which probably share some commonality, but what could that 50% be?

However, some people do go bananas. And some folks have personalities that share some traits with bananas. And now and then I do fall into a bit of a yellow funk and have a weakness for banana splits. But 50% of our DNA – well I guess that will learn me for having studiously avoided the subject like the plague.
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Ken – June 2, 2010 (yellow-bellied when faced with fisticuffs)
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Re: half banana

Post by Wizard of Oz » Fri Jun 04, 2010 1:54 am

.. and here Downunder we have a whole State of people who are called Banana benders and many people, from other States, would suggest that it is an insult to a banana to suggest that they share DNA with that lot ..

WoZ from down south
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Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

Re: half banana

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Sat Jun 05, 2010 12:05 pm

The Bible never claimed it was an apple in the garden.
But it sounds like these results have been seized upon by some research student who has frittered away his inheritance.
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Re: half banana

Post by Ken Greenwald » Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:11 pm

Edwin, I also read, in a very respectable tabloid, that Geneology has recently become a favorite pastime of the young scions of wealthy families who in their state-of-the-art home laboratories have nothing better to do with their time than compare the DNA of various species when they’re not watching pornography, contemplating their navels, or playing Monopoly.
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Ken – June 6 ,2010
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Re: half banana

Post by HHHPUZZLES » Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:00 pm

The plantain truth is that both people and bananas have skin and they can both be slippery. Also, people usually want to be the top banana.

One of my relatives is an expert on DNA so I shall ask her how we share 50% of DNA with the yellow fruit. In the meantime, don't tell this DNA fact to any canibals you know because they might go out and buy a box of vanilla wafers!
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