Y chromosome gets a closer examination

The original Y chromosome in mammals and marsupials evolved in a marsupial ancestor roughly 180 million years ago. And, up until about 25 million years ago, the Y chromosome was shedding genes, possibility to improve the chances of survival of male marsupials and mammals, according to genetic analyses.

The Y chromosome may therefore play a larger role in Turner syndrome and in health and disease differences between males and females than previously thought, a team of scientists argue. The analyses appear April 24 in two papers in Nature.

Ashley Yeager is the associate news editor at Science News. She has worked at The Scientist, the Simons Foundation, Duke University and the W.M. Keck Observatory, and was the web producer for Science News from 2013 to 2015. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a master’s degree in science writing from MIT.

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