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Human recipes

Humans have no more genes than mice, but there's no need to feel small. Recipes are more than lists of ingredients; the cooking makes us who we are

By Matt Ridley   July 2004

The more we find out about genomes, the more humiliating the news they bring us. The human genome turns out to be profoundly ordinary. We have known for decades that human beings have one fewer chromosome than chimpanzees, which should have been ample warning. We have known for years that grasshoppers have three times as much DNA per cell as we do, deep sea shrimps ten times, salamanders 20 times and African lungfish a staggering 40 times. But we still kidded ourselves until just the last few years that human beings would prove to have more genes, arranged in a…

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