Deep Homology? Uncanny Similarities of Humans and Flies Uncovered by Evo-Devo, Lewis I. Held, Jr.
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Deep Homology?

Epilogue. In 1965 Penzias and Wilson reported the cosmic background of microwave radiation left over from the Big Bang ~14 billion years ago. In a similar, albeit more prosaic, way Deep Homology? has probed the genetic background of the "big bang" (Cambrian explosion) that launched the diversification of two-sided animals on Earth ~0.6 billion years ago. Remnants of that regulatory hardware are still lurking in the genomes of modern bilaterians. Now, thanks to the facts uncovered by evo-devo, we can see that, from a genomic perspective, fruit flies are almost indistinguishable from us. Who could have imagined that these little "gnats" would turn out to be so uncannily similar to us after all? It has been ~100 years since Carter found Tut's tomb. Researchers have only recently entered the tomb, so to speak, of our urbilaterian ancestor, and we are still dazzled by the artifacts before us. It is up to the next generation of evo-devotees to survey these treasures and solve the puzzles that they pose.

Introduction: cover image
Body axes: figure 2 | figure 3 | figure 4 | figure 5 | figure 6
Nervous system: figure 7 | figure 8
Vision: figure 9 | figure 10 | figure 11 | figure 12 | figure 13
Touch and hearing: figure 14 | figure 15
Smell and taste: figure 16
Limbs: figure 17
Epilogue: figure 18

The Interactive Fly resides on the web server of the Society for Developmental Biology.