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Science

Our line of primates is missing an enzyme all other mammals have

Watched Did An Ancient Pathogen Reshape Our Cells? from YouTube

There is one – and only one – group of mammals that doesn’t have alpha-gal: the catarrhine primates, which are the monkeys of Africa and Asia, the apes, and … us.

Hypothesis: an ancient pathogen had the same protein (?) on its surface which prevented infected animals from developing antibodies to protect against it, so individuals without that protein were the ones that survived

Organ implants from other species don’t often work in us because they have it and we produce antibodies against it

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at tracy.durnell@gmail.com. She/her.

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