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Studying the DNA of different types of organisms provides evidence that all life on earth is related because different species contain DNA sequences that are extremely similar. Humans share around 98 percent of their DNA sequence with chimpanzees and gorillas and up to 50 percent of their DNA with some plants and fungi. The genetic code itself is a homology that links all life on Earth to a common ancestor. DNA and RNA possess a simple four-base code that provides an instruction manual for the growth, function, and replication of all living things.
The study of DNA has revolutionized the field of biology by providing evidence for evolution. The genetic code is universal to all life forms on earth and shows near universality of the genetic code and the machinery of DNA replication and expression as well. DNA sequence comparisons can show how different species are related. Biogeography, the study of the geographical distribution of organisms, provides information about how and when species may have evolved. Fossils provide evidence of long-term evolutionary changes, documenting the past existence of species that are now extinct.
The study of DNA has also helped scientists understand how organisms are related to each other. For example, scientists can compare the DNA sequences of different organisms to determine how closely related they are. This has led to the discovery of many new species and has helped scientists understand how different organisms evolved over time.
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