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View Full Version : Evolution Question: Man Vs. Pig



ryan.chapman
2008-Sep-15, 07:39 PM
Hello people,

I got a question about evolution. I have seen rumors that humans and pigs have a lot in common. I guess we share a lot of DNA similarities to them? Like 99%? I was curious why this is? I have heard that the most common ancestor we have is the chimp. So why do pigs and humans have a lot in common?

Or is 99% an exaggeration? I know that there have been tests with pig hearts and human hearts? Any information or links would be great. Thank you.

NEOWatcher
2008-Sep-15, 08:01 PM
Or is 99% an exaggeration?
Some women think 99% of man is pig...

Seriously though; I've never heard the numbers either, but I was wondering if domestication may have helped with some sort of convergence.

Is it possible that man has actually bred those traits into the animal so that they are more compatible with behavior, food, and whatever, and that the genes kind of followed along?

Click Ticker
2008-Sep-15, 08:02 PM
Hello people,

I got a question about evolution. I have seen rumors that humans and pigs have a lot in common. I guess we share a lot of DNA similarities to them? Like 99%? I was curious why this is? I have heard that the most common ancestor we have is the chimp. So why do pigs and humans have a lot in common?

Or is 99% an exaggeration? I know that there have been tests with pig hearts and human hearts? Any information or links would be great. Thank you.

As far as links go - there are always google searches for that.

Regarding hearts - pig valves are used as replacement valves for humans and have been for a number of years. The major draw back is that they don't last as long (15 years or so) before they need to be replaced again. The major benefit is that you don't need to take blood thinners for the rest of your life as you would with an artificial valve.

They're used because of their similarity in size to human valves - but I'm not sure about the rejection implications or anything. I opted for artificial because I didn't want to have my valve replaced more than once, and I was rather young when I had it done (high school age).

http://www.stanford.edu/dept/HPS/transplant/html/new_york_times.html

First link that popped up. Speaks of acute rejection due to the fact that pigs and humans are so different. However the benefit is that they breed quickly, we have experience raising them in large numbers, and they would not carry the same ethical concerns as raising primates for organ harvesting. That's the short summary.

snabald
2008-Sep-15, 08:08 PM
I heard that human meat tastes like pork, so there is another similarity.

mugaliens
2008-Sep-15, 08:25 PM
I find it interesting that pigs have 38 chromosomes.

Jeff Root
2008-Sep-15, 08:42 PM
Spock said most of what I was going to say. Pigs are fairly similar to
humans in many ways, but they are not as close a genetic match as
other primates are. Their advantages are that they are already widely
available as a commodity item, and so are low cost, and that they are
similar in size to humans, unlike monkeys or lower primates. Their diet is
much more like the human diet than is the diet of ruminants such as cattle
and sheep, which probably makes their physiology be more similar, too.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Matherly
2008-Sep-15, 08:49 PM
Spock said most of what I was going to say. Pigs are fairly similar to humans in many ways, but they are not as close a genetic match as
other primates are.

(Note: I am not a biologist)

Anyways, yes Chimps are more genetically similar to Humans than Pigs.

HOWEVER, that does not mean that Pigs are not 99% compatible (I am going to assume that figure is acurate- it should be close enough for my point). It means that Chimps are more than 99% compatible (say 99.9%).

Mammals are all very similar, genetically.

Neverfly
2008-Sep-15, 08:57 PM
Sounds like a case of some people making up "facts" to sound smart. Don't always pay attention to spewed facts ryan.chapman.
90% of statistics are made up on the spot:p

Pigs and humans are genetically far more different than humans and chimps. Or Orangutans.

But like Spock Jenkins already said, the reason pig hearts are used has to do with compatibility concerns that are NOT genetic.

Pigs are omnivorous and so are humans. But that doesn't match them to humans anymore than rats.
It's about the shape and size. It's also about Rhythm. Heart rhythm needs to be a close match as well.

Many animals have similar hearts to humans. However, we already harvest pork in mass production for meat.
Its the most renewable and constant supply and the logical choice.

Most any other animal with compatibly shaped and sized hearts would be more expensive to "harvest."
There may, indeed, be ethical concerns for chimp body parts being used in humans.
Not unheard of though.
http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1592287
http://www.geocities.com/organdonate/ashorthistoryofhumanandxenotransplanting.html
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/organfarm/etc/cron.html

This one's an interesting tidbit...:
http://www.voanews.com/specialenglish/archive/2005-09/2005-09-19-voa2.cfm?CFID=39387679&CFTOKEN=41994773

danscope
2008-Sep-15, 09:04 PM
I have it on good authority that you can put lipstick on a pig all you want,
and it will still be a pig; and it will still have no handle on current events.

Delvo
2008-Sep-15, 09:39 PM
They are not only about the same size with similar temperature and heart rate and such, and similarly omnivorous, but also nearly bald-skinned.

Donnie B.
2008-Sep-15, 10:18 PM
Also, we both like to wallow in muck.

alexvorn2
2008-Sep-15, 10:35 PM
Fat people look like pigs, lol :D

HenrikOlsen
2008-Sep-16, 01:36 AM
To get back on the OT, 99% is too high, pigs have less DNA in common with us that chimps and the number I saw for chimps was 98%, the number for a banana was around 30% I think.

The reason why there's so much DNA in common is that apart from different proportions, we're essentially identical to pigs; the basic cellular metabolism is the same, what muscles consist of is the same, what nerves consist of is the same, essentially everything is the same apart from the small bit which controls the detailed shape and size of the various bits.

Looking at the banana, we still have all the cellular mechanisms used to copy and translate DNA to proteins in common, so in many of the really fundamental mechanisms we are identical (with minor variations) so it shouldn't really come as a big surprise that we have a lot of DNA in common.

Evolution is incredibly frugal in that respect, if a solution to a problem is already there, it'll be reused rather than a new one being invented.

Abbadon_2008
2008-Sep-16, 01:39 AM
Swine are omnivores, too. That's an evolutionary leg up. Or perhaps a 'hoof' up.

KaiYeves
2008-Sep-16, 01:41 AM
Also, pigs are very smart. I think they're something like the smartest after apes and dolphins.

Neverfly
2008-Sep-16, 01:55 AM
Swine are omnivores, too. That's an evolutionary leg up. Or perhaps a 'hoof' up.

Trotter?

Matherly
2008-Sep-16, 02:06 AM
Also, pigs are very smart.

And after the Revolution, you can't tell them apart from humans!

"FOUR LEGS GOOD!!! TWO LEGS BETTER!!!!!!!"

Neverfly
2008-Sep-16, 02:10 AM
And after the Revolution, you can't tell them apart from humans!

"FOUR LEGS GOOD!!! TWO LEGS BETTER!!!!!!!"

Oh great. Now we're in a Jam.

Whirlpool
2008-Sep-16, 11:38 AM
Also, pigs are very smart. I think they're something like the smartest after apes and dolphins.

Oh really , Pigs are very smart ? :eek:


Oh dear ......... Ms. Piggy .... <oink>

Neverfly
2008-Sep-16, 04:34 PM
Oh really , Pigs are very smart ? :eek:


Oh dear ......... Ms. Piggy .... <oink>

HAHAHAHAHA I think you were set up!!
I should have seen it coming...

Jeff Root
2008-Sep-16, 06:49 PM
Miss Piggy may not be the brightest sow in the pen, but what she lacks in
intellect she certainly makes up for in looks. Of course, she knows it, and
as a result she's a bit of a ham.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

mugaliens
2008-Sep-16, 07:19 PM
...



BAH-DUM-SHA


Seriously, though - I thought it was an oinker.

Drunk Vegan
2008-Sep-16, 08:34 PM
I have it on good authority that you can put lipstick on a pig all you want,
and it will still be a pig; and it will still have no handle on current events.

Is your social life really pertinent to this conversation? :P

Noclevername
2008-Sep-22, 02:16 AM
The yeast in beer has 51% of the same DNA as we do. Drink up, me hearties, it's not cannibalism!

AGN Fuel
2008-Sep-22, 02:58 AM
I heard that when they were selecting the most suitable valve transplant donor, the clinicial looked at the comparison trial results and said gently:

"That'll do...Pig."

Drunk Vegan
2008-Sep-22, 03:59 AM
Why Man Vs. Pig?

Why not man merges with pig, and bear!

To become....

manbearpig.

Senor Molinero
2008-Sep-23, 12:39 AM
Why Man Vs. Pig?

Why not man merges with pig, and bear!

To become....

manbearpig.

Just don't tell Al Gore.

HenrikOlsen
2008-Sep-23, 12:44 AM
Aaaand that's the specific name I've been waiting for to close this thread as hopelessly derailed.