Science: Down syndrome also in chimpanzees - Already discovered the second case

Down syndrome is a chromosome defect in humans. Human cells usually contain 23 pairs of chromosomes, a total of 46. In Down's syndrome, sufferers have a third copy of chromosome 21 - that's why the defect is also called trisomy 21.

The chimpanzee with trisomy 22
chimpanzees and other apes usually have 24 pairs ofChromosomes, 48 ​​in total. However, the chimpanzee Kanako has three copies of chromosome 22 instead of two.

chimpanzees are closely related to humans. They also get similar diseases and defects as humans.(Ronnie Howard /

Near Related
chimpanzees are our closest relatives after bonobos. In social behavior, chimpanzees show great similarities with humans. They make tools with a certain systematic approach, can learn many terms of the symbolic language and, according to some researchers, possess the idea of ​​a self. In particular, they have the capacity for empathy in the sense that they can imagine the feelings of others, and thus, to a degree, empathize with others, which was explicitly human until the time of Jane Goodall's research.

Related Diseases
Due to their close relationship to humans, they also have many diseases, disorders and genetic defects that are similar or very similar to ours.

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Danger of
glass screens instead of bars in zoological gardens not only provide better visibility, but also prevent apesinfected with human viruses and bacteria.

What symptoms does the chimpanzee have?
Kanako suffers from heart disease, badly developed teeth and looks bad. At the age of one year she squinted and went blind at seven. However, the researchers know too little about the chromosomes in apes to clearly attribute these symptoms to the defect.

Researcher Satoshi Hirata also emphasizes that as a baby, she did not show any significant disturbances in the development of her behavior.

Social Behavior
Kanako usually remains separate from other chimpanzees because their guards fear that their peers may be aggressive towards them. However, the chimpanzee Roman, who grew up with Kanako, is very friendly to her.

Only the second case
Only once before did scientists make a triple copy of chromosome 22 in chimpanzees, namely in 1969. To date, it is unknown how widespread the defect is in wild chimpanzees.

Similar to humans?
According to Hirata, trisomy 21 occurs in people in one in 600 births, and the probability of chimpanzee disorder could be as high.(Dr. Utz Anhalt)

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