Comparison of genomes reveals that many genes are highly conserved across different organisms. For example, humans and fruit flies share around 60 per cent of their genes.
Many genomes have been sequenced, particularly of organisms related to health, disease, agriculture and improving further research:
- Sequencing of disease-causing organisms can help with accurate diagnosis
- Sequencing of pest species can help identify risks and lead to specific methods of control being developed rather than general pesticides
- Sequencing of model organisms such as fruit flies, C. elegans nematodes or zebra fish means they can be used in medical research in place of mammals (reducing ethical concerns and costs).