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  • Of lice and men (and chimps): Study tracks pace of molecular evolution

    A new study led by Kevin Johnson of the Illinois Natural History Survey (seated, at left), with, left to right, entomology professor Barry Pittendrigh, animal biology professor Ken Paige and postdoctoral researcher Julie Allen, indicates lice are evolving faster than their human and chimpanzee hosts.

    A new study led by Kevin Johnson of the Illinois Natural History Survey (seated, at left), with, left to right, entomology professor Barry Pittendrigh, animal biology professor Ken Paige and postdoctoral researcher Julie Allen, indicates lice are evolving faster than their human and chimpanzee hosts.

    Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

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      A new study led by Kevin Johnson of the Illinois Natural History Survey (seated, at left), with, left to right, entomology professor Barry Pittendrigh, animal biology professor Ken Paige and postdoctoral researcher Julie Allen, indicates lice are evolving faster than their human and chimpanzee hosts.

      Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

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      The researchers measured the evolutionary divergence between humans and chimps and compared it to that of their lice, Pediculus humanus, left, the human head louse, and Pediculus schaeffi, the chimp louse.

      Photo by Julie Allen

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  • To reach Kevin Johnson, call 217-244-9267; email kpjohnso@illinois.edu.

    The paper, “Rates of Genomic Divergence in Humans, Chimpanzees and Their Lice,” is available from the U. of I. News Bureau.