Online Education Kit: 2004-The Future

2005: Chimpanzee Genomes Sequenced

ATCG Image with Chimpanzee Silhouette

The Chimpanzee Sequencing and Analysis Consortium, supported in part by the National Human Genome Research Institute, announced the completion of the chimp genome sequence. The report describing this landmark achievement included a detailed comparison of the chimp and human genomes. The chimp genome was the first nonhuman primate sequence, and just the fourth mammal, to have its genome sequence completed. Because chimpanzees are humans' closest living evolutionary relatives, they are uniquely positioned to help answer the fundamental question, "What does it mean to be human?" The consortium found that the genomes of chimps and humans are very similar. The majority of the genomes that can be directly compared are about 99 percent identical. When insertions and deletions are included the genomes are still about 96 percent identical. As with the human sequence, the chimpanzee sequence data can be freely accessed through public databases by researchers from around the world and used without restrictions.

More Information


Chimpanzee Sequencing and Analysis Consortium. Initial sequence of the chimpanzee genome and comparison with the human genome. Nature, 437: 69-87. 2005. [Full Text]

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Last Updated: August 15, 2013