Gene research ‘links’ human to wallaby

SURPRISING new research into sequencing the first kangaroo genome – that of the tammar wallaby – has discovered a gene that may have assisted early human development.

The research also reveals genes that might have been involved in the kangaroo’s characteristic hop and its unusual reproductive system.

While at first glance there might be little to connect the tammar wallaby with humans, other than they are both mammals that lactate their young, scientists from the University of Melbourne and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research have found we share thousands of genes.