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While the mammalian Y chromosome (males only) may be much smaller than the X chromosome that predominates in females (males have one X, females two), this males only chromosome is evolving much faster. As a result male primates were found to be evolving faster than females.  (Source:
The Y chromosome is evolving fast to deal with genetic pressures of varying mating habits, such as chimp group mating

Modern biochemistry and genetics is just beginning to unlock the complex secrets of evolution, the process in which organisms change over long periods of time through random genetic variation and selective pressures.  With a handful of genomes sequenced, scientists can now start mining this data to find interesting trends and evidence of the course evolution is taking, particularly in humans.

A provocative and intriguing new study reveals that past thought on the Y chromosome, the chromosome that instructs mammals to develop into males, may be entirely flawed and that the chromosome, previously thought to evolving at a crawl, may in fact be evolving far faster than other chromosomes.  Human females typically have two X chromosomes, while males have an X and a Y chromosome.

It was previously thought that autosomes (non-sex chromosomes) and the X sex chromosome featured greater diversity (faster evolution) than the Y sex chromosome, a smaller chromosome.  According to the new study, led by Jennifer Hughes, a postdoctoral researcher in Whitehead Institute Director David Page’s lab.  The research indicates that primate males may be evolving significantly faster than females.

To determine how fast the Y chromosome was changing, the scientists needed a point to compare our Y chromosomes against.  The human Y chromosome had been comprehensively sequenced by the Page lab and the Genome Center at Washington University in 2003.  A promising target was DNA from chimpanzees -- a close relative of humans on the evolutionary tree.  However, the 2005 sequencing of the chimpanzee genome excluded the Y chromosome, mostly, due to its hundreds of repeating sequences that threw off sequencing techniques at the time.

Undeterred, researchers at the Page lab and Genome Center at Washington University completed sequencing the chimpanzee Y chromosome, using newer techniques.  What was discovered was amazing.  The Y chromosome, thought to be a musty unchanging stretch of genes had changed significantly between humans and apes in terms of structure and content.  Approximately one third to a half of genes found in the human version of the chromosome were lost in the chimp chromosome, since chimps diverged from humans in the evolutionary tree.

Professor David Page compares these changes to a constantly renovated home, stating, "People are living in the house, but there’s always some room that’s being demolished and reconstructed.  And this is not the norm for the genome as a whole."

Wes Warren, Assistant Director of the Washington University Genome Center, another top genetics expert, agrees that the findings are extraordinary, "This work clearly shows that the Y is pretty ingenious at using different tools than the rest of the genome to maintain diversity of genes.  These findings demonstrate that our knowledge of the Y chromosome is still advancing."

One thing that may be driving faster evolution of the male sex chromosome is differing mating habits between species.  Where as humans typically take a single partner during sexual intercourse, numerous chimpanzees often mate with a single female in a short time period.  Males who produce more sperm, or whose sperm is better at impregnating females will have a better chance at beating the other males' sperm and passing on his genes.

To give an idea of just how profound this effect is, the difference between the rest of the human and chimp chromosomes is only 2 percent.  That means that the male sex chromosome is evolving nearly 15 times faster, or more, on average than the female genome.

The Page lab and the Washington University Genome Center are now looking at the Y chromosomes of several other mammals to further determine if this faster rate of male evolution is a characteristic of primates only, or other mammal lines as well. 

The study on the work was published in the prestigious journal Nature, and can be found here.

The research was funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI).

Where as chimps have evolved to cope with the genetic pressures of group sex, human males and females have evolved on a different course.  Recent research indicated that human females are slowly evolving to be shorter and to carry more weight.

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RE: Study based on unproven assumptions
By William Gaatjes on 1/20/2010 12:45:49 PM , Rating: 1
No swearing is used by people who respond to those who clearly insult others as a response.

The only insulting done here is on humanity, because you are an insult to humanity.

If you take the "higher" route, while diving off topic, and act like an ass that's what you are.

Again your useless opinion and not a fact in any way.

The point of the wars comments: NO Christian modern country has started a random war as powerful as one who sought to destroy it. Sorry bud, the main mentality in ANY and ALL communist countries was to imprison or kill those of religious beliefs.

What's you point goofy ?


The reason? As Hitler said in his speeches "Man must destroy God so that Germany can become a god" You attacked my beliefs and named them. I can respond like a human and say FUCK you.

Again now you call me Hitler :).
You are a pathetic excuse for a human being. Nothing to say to prove me wrong. Hot air, Hot air...

My reply to your insults is swear words. My reply to your comments is you are a science zealot.

Again empty words with out meaning. You waste precious air.

All is meritted. You deserve the insults. And you are a science zealot. The drone mentality is followed even more with the destruction of religion (see my Hitler comment) in order to control thought processes. I'm sorry, you are just wrong. The only one of the two of us that is a drone, is the one making false statements. If you noticed, I dislike the drone mentality too. You are following it to the letter. Again, you are indefinitely Californian. The "I'm high and mighty and never attack people" bullshit is a liberal thing.

You my angry friend, are a perfect drone. Without thinking you assume something and it is fact. Without doubting anything you know your word is THE word. Your thought is THE thought... Your attitude is exactly the reason what is wrong with humanity. You cannot use facts so you insult and harass people. I would not be surprise you have this attitude in your daily life as well... I feel bad for the people around you... And again, what do you have against California ? Oh, by the way, i am not from California or the U.S. I am tired of proving you wrong every time.

I'm indepenadant Washingtonian, physics major, who will tell you 50 times, you are biased. Your arguments are unfair. Drones are drones. People are people. Your people have as much or more so of an effect. So get your head out of your ass.

Well , i feel sad for the other people in Washington, did they not ask you to leave by now ?


Following a religion, or following Hitler, or maybe the North Koreans? There's a reason why dictators destroy religion.

Although it useless trying to give you some information... There will always be people who want nothing else then power. And if that person uses religion or promotes himself as a religion, it is the same. If you would really know your history you would understand that. But i am sad to notice over and over again that with you it is not a matter of being unable but a matter of not wanting too.


What you said about Catholic assaults is entirely untrue. And I advise you take history on it. Romans jumping on the christian band wagon, makes the person corrupt, not the religion they use. The person using communism for power makes the person corrupt. In theory communism is pretty good.

Your point, is that you accept finally that what you read in your bible may very well not be the original message because the people in power at that part of time used the bible to control people ? May i dare to think that you have grasped this ? I doubt it.


The communism didn't make Hitler. You aren't weighing shit. So sit down and take a dump, your shit stinks, and you are not "balanced" until you take away your "imbalance" against religion. You attacked me, I attack back, so fuck yourself.

Hypothetically speaking, if god would exist, the first steps on the path is to find inner peace and accept your strengths and weaknesses. By gaining knowledge you actually are able to do so and to face problems in life more easily and you do not have to make mistakes to learn from them. You can just deduce what would be the result of certain actions. But then again i am an atheist maybe with the inner peace of a true priest or would i say monk...

You are empty... It saddens me for you are not the only one...

By William Gaatjes on 1/20/2010 1:10:50 PM , Rating: 2
A nice song, wonderful singer...

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