The Y chromosome has a unique approach to ensuring its survival, but that self-preservation mechanism may cause a range of sexual disorders from male sterility to sex reversal, in which a person's genetic sex is opposite his anatomical development, according to a study published online today (September 3) in Cell.
Tug of war during mitosis can break
the isodicentric chromosome in two

Image: Tom DiCesare/Whitehead Institute
"Every time nature solves a problem, it seems to create one," said linkurl:Scott Hawley,; a chromosome biologist and American Cancer Society research professor at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Missouri, who was not involved in the research. "[The] very same system that can protect the Y can, in rare events, do something really disastrous." The entire genome is constantly subjected to random errors during replication, the vast majority of which are detrimental to the overall fitness of the organism. These deleterious...

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