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Gene Numbers

Change in gene collections has produced evolution in microscopic creatures and those species called mammals. Today (25 March 2016), BBC News reports that the bacterium Mycoplasma genitalium, sometimes found in our urinary tract, has something like 523 genes. This has been "the smallest set of genes in any independent organism known to science." Now. a team led by US research entrepreneur Craig Venter has created a bacterium in the lab that has only 473 genes. Reports Jonathan Amos, science correspondent, "By way of comparison, more complex organisms such plants and animals can have many tens of thousands of genes driving their biology."

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