• Question: what types of cells are the same as humans in a banana

    Asked by legend887 to Aina, AlexAgrotis, Alex, Ambre, Anabel, Deepak, Emmanuelle, Ettie, James, Kaitlin, Kate, Lorena, Marianne, Matthew, MattyB, Nina, Patrick, Rachel, Rebecca, Ross, Ryan, Shobhana, Shonna, Thiloka, David on 11 Jun 2019.
    • Photo: Nina Rzechorzek

      Nina Rzechorzek answered on 11 Jun 2019:


      Interesting question! Bananas are the edible fruit of a type of flowering plant and are therefore composed of plant cells, whereas humans are composed of animal cells. Although there are similarities between plant and animal cells, there are no cells in a banana that are the same as those found in humans. If you want a nice ‘bitesize’ comparison of plant and animal cells see these webpages:

      https://www.bbc.com/bitesize/articles/zmrtng8

      Eukaryotic Cells


      https://www.sparknotes.com/biology/cellstructure/celldifferences/section1/

      You may have heard that humans share some of their DNA with bananas – and this is indeed true! However that does not mean that their cells are the same. This article provides more info on banana DNA:

      https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/find-the-dna-in-a-banana-bring-science-home/

    • Photo: Rachel Hardy

      Rachel Hardy answered on 11 Jun 2019:


      The actual cell types between humans and bananas are different (for example we have brain cells and heart cells, which bananas don’t). However, we share around 50-60% of our DNA with bananas! DNA is found within the nucleus (i.e. the control centre) of all cell types. The DNA contains different regions called genes, each of which code for a selection of different proteins. A lot of genes that control the basic functions of a cell (like cell division or DNA replication) are the same in bananas and humans. Genes like these are called ‘housekeeping genes’. Therefore, the DNA within our cells and those of a banana is actually really similar!

    • Photo: Rebecca Moon

      Rebecca Moon answered on 11 Jun 2019:


      None. Plant cells and animals cells are very different – this is bringing back memories of drawing plant and animal cells for GCSE biology.

      Here’s something I’ve borrowed from the internet highlighting the difference between the two cell types:

    • Photo: Shobhana Nagraj

      Shobhana Nagraj answered on 11 Jun 2019:


      This is super interesting! I never knew we shared 50-60% of our DNA with bananas! I’m learning from all the answers so far! Nothing else to add – I think the others have answered this really well!

    • Photo: Marianne King

      Marianne King answered on 12 Jun 2019:


      I don’t think we have any! Rebecca has shared a really good table showing all the differences between plant and animal cells. And I’ve also learned that we share 50-60% of our DNA with bananas from Rachel too! Everyday is a school day. 🙂

    • Photo: Kate Timms

      Kate Timms answered on 12 Jun 2019:


      Hi! None of the cells are exactly the same. However, we are finding more and more things in common with plant cells and animals cells than ever before!

      In my PhD, I researched a kind of teeny tiny parcel containing lots of different molecules which is released from cells in animals. I found that these are also released from plant cells (!!) AND that these plant parcels can affect the way human intestinal cells work! That’s pretty incredible considering how far apart we are separated from plants in evolutionary time.

      It’s strange to think that both us and a bananna have a common ancestor at some point. I wonder what it looked like?

    • Photo: Matthew Bareford

      Matthew Bareford answered on 12 Jun 2019:


      Banana cells are not actually the same as a human cells, It is a bananas DNA that is similar to a humans (50%). By similar, there are regions of the DNA code which are the same.

    • Photo: Kaitlin Wade

      Kaitlin Wade answered on 12 Jun 2019:


      Human cells aren’t the same as banana cells. We would look very funny if that was the case! But banana and human cells share about 50% of their DNA (about 50%) – this means that the coding regions of the genome are the same.

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