Bioinformatics Education Dissemination: Reaching Out, Connecting and Knitting-together


New tools, moon tigers, and the extinction crisis. Author: Nash, Steve. Source: BioScience v. 51 no9 (Sept. 2001) p. 702-7
This article addresses the use of DNA analysis in conservation biology. Uses for molecular genetics include distinguishing previously unrecognized species and also using gene markers to trace specific behaviors, population patterns, genealogy, and evolutionary history of organisms. Multiple examples of the use of genetics to solve conservation issues are discussed and include: milkweed, Florida panther, chimpanzees, cowbirds, and tamarisk. The use of cloning technology to prevent extinction is also discussed.

A champion of chimps. Source: Discover v. 20 no11 (Nov. 1999) p. 34
This very brief article discusses the discovery of chimp culture in relation to the actual separation between human and chimpanzees.

Chimpanzees: Our Closest Living Relatives.
In this article, PETA provides information on the use of chimpanzees in medical research and why such use is both detrimental to the chimps involved and also unnecessary for the human population. NIH's National Chimpanzee Management Plan is also criticized as being simply a fund for breeding management.

Conservation and Variation in Human and Common Chimpanzee CD94 and NKG2 Genes1. 2002. Benny P. Shum, Laura R. Flodin, David G. Muir, Raja Rajalingam, Salim I. Khakoo2, Sophia Cleland, Lisbeth A. Guethlein, Markus Uhrberg3 and Peter Parham.4 Journal of Immunology. Vol. 168. p.240-252.
ABSTRACT. To assess polymorphism and variation in human and chimpanzee NK complex genes, we determined the coding-region sequences for CD94 and NKG2A, C, D, E, and F from several human (Homo sapiens) donors and common chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). CD94 is highly conserved, while the NKG2 genes exhibit some polymorphism. For all the genes, alternative mRNA splicing variants were frequent among the clones obtained by RT-PCR. Alternative splicing acts similarly in human and chimpanzee to produce the CD94B variant from the CD94 gene and the NKG2B variant from the NKG2A gene. Whereas single chimpanzee orthologs for CD94, NKG2A, NKG2E, and NKG2F were identified, two chimpanzee paralogs of the human NKG2C gene were defined. The chimpanzee Pt-NKG2CI gene encodes a protein similar to human NKG2C, whereas in the chimpanzee Pt-NKG2CII gene the translation frame changes near the beginning of the carbohydrate recognition domain, causing premature termination. Analysis of a panel of chimpanzee NK cell clones showed that Pt-NKG2CI and Pt-NKG2CII are independently and clonally expressed. Pt-NKG2CI and Pt-NKG2CII are equally diverged from human NKG2C, indicating that they arose by gene duplication subsequent to the divergence of chimpanzee and human ancestors. Genomic DNA from 80 individuals representing six primate species were typed for the presence of CD94 and NKG2. Each species gave distinctive typing patterns, with NKG2A and CD94 being most conserved. Seven different NK complex genotypes within the panel of 48 common chimpanzees were due to differences in Pt-NKG2C and Pt-NKG2D genes.

The Predatory Behavior and Ecology of Wild Chimpanzees. Dr. Craig B. Stanford.
The author examines the consumption of meat by chimpanzees as a means to determine when humans developed hunting behaviors. The reasoning is that since chimps are suspected to share a common ancestor with humans, then studying their hunting behavior may give insight as to how early hominids hunted. Chimpanzees from Gombe National Park in Tanzania are the predominately chimps discussed, and an extensive summary of their hunting behaviors is provided.

What It Really Means To Be 99% Chimpanzee
Jonathan Marks. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association Biological Anthropology Today: Topics For Non-Biological Anthropologists. Saturday, November 20, 1999.

Marks argues that the similarities of chimpanzees to humans genetically is a cultural construction. He bases his argument on the fact that there are only 4 DNA bases, so every living organism is at least 25% similar to humans. Saying that chimpanzees share over 98% of their genes with humans does not mean they are that similar to humans since daffodils share more than 25%.

Eating Our Relatives. 29 April 2000. New Scientist.
The sale of bushmeat has become an important economic industry in many African states. This brief article discusses the types of meat being sold, where the meat is going, and economic factors relating to this illegal industry.

Congo War Increases Threat to Bonobo Research. 18 May 2000. Saegusa, Asako. Nature. Vol. 405.
Pygmy chimpanzees (Bonobos) populations are being threatened by war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This is particularly damaging since the bonobos have not yet been adequately researched so their life history remains unknown. Also, this species may be useful in studying the origins of AIDS.

From Pan to Pandemic. 4 February 1999. Weiss, Robin and Wrangham, Richard. Nature. Vol. 397.
Evidence indicating that HIV-1 originated from chimpanzees is presented as well as how the virus was transmitted to the human species. The dangers of bushmeat and the use of chimpanzees in AIDS research is also discussed.

Cultural Primatology come of Age. 17 June 1999. de Waal, Frans. Nature. Vol. 399.
This article argues that apes are in fact cultural beings. They possess behaviors and traits that are not genetically acquired but are learned from other apes instead.

A Cascade of Complex Subtelomeric Duplications during the Evolution of the Hominid and Old World Monkey Genomes. 2000. Michel van Geel, Evan Eichler, Amy Beck, Zhihong Shan, Thomas Haaf, Silvere van der Maarel, Rune Frants, and Pieter de Jong. American Journal of Human Genetics. Vol. 70. p. 269-278.
Research presented in this paper proposes that, in a common ancestor of chimps and humans, one of the paralogous copies of b-tubulin gene assumed the original function whereas the ancestral copy acquired mutations and became silenced.

Identifying Conservation Units Within Captive Chimpanzee Populations. 2000. Deinard, Amos. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. Vol. 111. p. 25-44.
Captive management of endangered species attempts to preserve genetic diversity that originally existed in gene pools of wild species. This article sought to determine which type of genetic data is useful to monitor captive populations by examining the DNC sequence at three nuclear locations in both common and pygmy chimpanzees.

The Great Ape Massacre. 9 May 1999. McNeil, Donald. New York Times.
This articles describes the importance of chimp conservation—especially of ending the bushmeat trade—because of the finding that HIV-1 came from a subspecies of chimpanzees. It suggests the use of tourism as an economic replacement for the bushmeat market.

New Zealanders Press Plan for Apes' Rights. March 16, 1999. Coukell, Allan. New York Times.
New Zealand's branch of the Great Ape Project has propositioned Parliament to guarantee basic rights to great apes. If this proposal is passed, other nations may follow New Zealand's lead.

New Hope in Goualougo. April 2003. Quammen, David. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. Vol. 111. p. 25-44.
Captive management of endangered species attempts to preserve genetic diversity that originally existed in gene pools of wild species. This article sought to determine which type of genetic data is useful to monitor captive populations by examining the DNC sequence at three nuclear locations in both common and pygmy chimpanzees.

Chimpanzees Doin' What Comes Culturally. June 17, 1999. Natalie Angier. New York Times.
Studies have found that chimpanzees display cultural variation according to their locality. These specific behaviors are learned through observation, and are not associated with genetic composition.


Chimp News
This site gives brief descriptions of current issues related to chimpanzees as well as some links to websites and webarticles about those topics. It is very informative and easy to use.

Discover Chimpanzees
This site is aimed at a younger audience, but has many interesting features worth checking out. For example, you can learn how to identify facial expressions, decipher chimp language, view films on the chimps, etc. There is also an interactive activity involving being a chimp for a day, and detailed GIS and other information about Gombe National Park in Tanzania as well as the chimps living there. You must have Quicktime to view a lot of the materials.

The Jane Goodall Institute
The Jane Goodall Institute for Wildlife Research, Education and Conservation includes information about Jane Goodall, research and education programs of the Institute, and extensive information on chimpanzees and their conservation.

Chimpanzee Genomic Analysis
Baylor College of Medicine is working on sequencing the chimp genome. Information on why the chimp genome should be sequenced as well as how scientists will begin sequencing is given. As researchers make discoveries, the information will be posted on this website and the data may be used freely.

Chimpanzee Cultures Online
This website provides a searchable, graphical database that describes the cultural variations identified in the 1999 Nature paper and shows their distribution across the long-term African study sites.

African Conservation
This website provides a case fully developed case study in the Uluguru Mountains of Tanzania. The focus of the case study is conservation in general, but chimp conservation can be extrapolated from this detailed information. The second website from African Conservation has a relief map, a vegetation map, and a human population map of Africa. The third website gives detailed descriptions and relief maps of specific African countries. The fourth website is a guide to GIS and remote sensing resources on the internet.

Congo Conservation
The WCS-Congo organization works with the Congolese government to protect three national parks. This website explains the conservation issues that the organization addresses within the parks.

Primate Preserved at Coriell
A database of microsatellite markers has been compiled from an extensive review of the literature for investigators interested in characterizing various primate species. The data may be searched by species, by marker name, or from a publication list.

Global Primate Awareness
This website has information on the bushmeat trade, conservation of chimps, the pet trade, and research involving chimps.

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