Common Ancestry: It's in our DNA

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    Why does DNA evidence tell the same story about common ancestry as anatomy, fossils, and embryological development?
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    It's because genes carry all of the instructions for building living things.
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    DNA codes for proteins, and proteins make traits.
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    Genes code for all of the proteins a cell makes.
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    The proteins a cell makes determine what it can do.
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    And cells working together give an organism its traits.
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    Genes build organisms. In each type of cell, different genes code for the proteins that make muscles contract, transmit nerve signals, build colorful feathers and flowers, and much more.
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    During embryonic development, groups of genes work together like computer programs to build the specific anatomy of each living thing.
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    Variations in anatomy—limbs, hearts, and leaves that look different between species—come from variations in those genes.
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    Fossils preserve a record of past variations in anatomy, showing how traits have changed over time.
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    Because genes build organisms, DNA carries a record of evolutionary relationships.
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    Some genes are so fundamental that every living thing has them. These genes serve as a record that all life on Earth shares a common ancestor.
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    Organisms that share a lot of traits generally have many more genes in common.
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    For example, frogs and cows share the genes for making shared traits—like eyes, hearts, blood, bones, and nerve cells that look a certain way.
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    These shared genes preserve a record of an ancestor that they share with each other, but not with bacteria.
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    Because genes change over time, the more similar the DNA of two organisms, the more recently they share a common ancestor.
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    Observations from anatomy, fossils, and embryological development are all rooted in DNA. That’s why DNA evidence can often be the missing piece of the puzzle that ultimately completes the story of common ancestry.

APA format:

Genetic Science Learning Center. (2017, August 1) Common Ancestry: It's in our DNA. Retrieved October 16, 2019, from https://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/evolution/common/

CSE format:

Common Ancestry: It's in our DNA [Internet]. Salt Lake City (UT): Genetic Science Learning Center; 2017 [cited 2019 Oct 16] Available from https://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/evolution/common/

Chicago format:

Genetic Science Learning Center. "Common Ancestry: It's in our DNA." Learn.Genetics. August 1, 2017. Accessed October 16, 2019. https://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/evolution/common/.