Did You Know?
50% of human DNA is the same as a banana.
When people repeat the percentage as being "a similarity of DNA," actually what the research looked at was the similarity of gene products. "It's a pretty minor mistake," Dr. Brody reassures. "The kernel that you would take home is that we have something in common with a banana and a potato and a pine tree. That part is true. The fine point about the gene products or the DNA, it's easy to see how that would get translated [incorrectly]."
So, if a scientist looked at the DNA sequence of a banana and compared it with the DNA of a human it wouldn't align. "You share 50 percent of your DNA with each of your parents. But with bananas, we share about 50 percent of our genes, which turns out to be only about 1 percent of our DNA," emails Mike Francis, a Ph.D. student in bioinformatics at the University of Georgia.