New clues to Y evolution

New findings challenge researchers' understanding of how the Y chromosome evolved -- rather than being the slowest component of the genome to change, as generally believed, it might just be the fastest. Image:Thomas Lersch, Wiki Commons Despite the close evolutionary link between human and chimpanzees, a comparison of the two species' Y chromosomes show a surprisingly vast number of differences between the two genetic sequences, according to an analysis published linkurl:online;http://www.nat

Katherine Bagley
Jan 12, 2010
New findings challenge researchers' understanding of how the Y chromosome evolved -- rather than being the slowest component of the genome to change, as generally believed, it might just be the fastest.
Image:Thomas Lersch, Wiki Commons
Despite the close evolutionary link between human and chimpanzees, a comparison of the two species' Y chromosomes show a surprisingly vast number of differences between the two genetic sequences, according to an analysis published linkurl:online;http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/index.html in Nature today. "You stop anyone on the street, scientist or lay person, and they'll say chimpanzees are humans' closest cousins," said linkurl:Hunt Willard,;http://www.genome.duke.edu/people/faculty/willard/ director of the Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy at Duke University, who was not involved in the study. "But here is a corner of the genome that is remarkably dissimilar. The paper provides a new evolutionary puzzle that is going to have to be looked at and solved." According to the prevailing theory, X...




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