London, July 20, 2015: UK students, including one of Indian-origin, have 'sequenced' the genome of the Minions based on what they know about the popular animated characters, and found they could, in theory, have a complex genetic make-up similar to humans.
Natural Sciences students Krisho Manoharan and Ruth Sang Jones from University of Leicester analysed the Minion genome and suggest that, given their biological traits and the fact that they are said to have come onto land at the time of the tetrapods (approximately 400 million years ago), their genome could include Homoeotic genes which are responsible for organism development.
Given their proportions, Minions from the popular 'Despicable Me' films, could potentially have hypochondroplasia - a mutation of the FGFR3 gene which can result in disproportionate limbs in relation to their bodies and an enlarged cranium, researchers said.
They could also have the Pax6 gene, which is responsible for eye development and would explain a minion's camera-lens structured eyes.
The FoxP2 gene, which when mutated in humans can impair spoken articulation - this could explain Minions' own spoken language system which in some way mimics human languages.
Minions may also posses the Xanthophores, which determine animal colouration and could explain the yellow pigmentation of a Minion, the students said.
Some elements of a Minion's genome go beyond what humans are capable of, such as their immortality and lack of reproductive ability, they said.
A brief look at a Minion, however, does suggest that many of its genetic properties are similar to humans - suggesting there could in theory be an evolutionary link if Minions really existed, said the students.
The research appears in the Interdisciplinary Science Topics, a peer-reviewed student journal run by the University of Leicester's Centre for Interdisciplinary Science.