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Byline: Peter Gorner
CHICAGO _ Scientists on Thursday published a detailed analysis of the newly mapped genome of the chicken _ the first bird to have its genes have been cataloged _ that is expected to bring advances in human health, agriculture and evolutionary biology.
The genetic map also may help science understand the cockiness of a strutting rooster and a nesting hen's commitment to her young _ and why such inborn gender differences might be shared by species as different as chickens and humans.
Since March, when the genome was made available to researchers, scientists have been comparing the chicken blueprint to the previously published genomes of the humans, mice, rats and puffer fish.
It turns out that humans and chickens share more than half of the same genes, the scientists reported Thursday in the journal Nature, but their DNA diverged in ways that may explain some of the differences between birds and mammals.
By looking at the genomes of a wide range of animals, scientists can better understand the structure and function of human genes and, ultimately, develop new strategies to improve …