Sunday, January 17, 2010

Monkey business

Like I said, Biology is full of surprises.

Contrary to a widely held scientific theory that the mammalian Y chromosome is slowly decaying or stagnating, new evidence suggests that in fact the Y is actually evolving quite rapidly through continuous, wholesale renovation. The analysis was possible because of the sequencing of the Y-chromosome from Chimpanzees.

The region of the Y that is evolving the fastest is the part that plays a role in sperm production, the rest of the Y is evolving more like the rest of the genome, only a little bit faster.

The paper is in Nature this week and there is a nice write-up at ScienceDaily.

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