Scientists Experiment With the Y Chromosome

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Researchers from the University of Hawaii that did a study on the Y chromosome have shown how little it actually effects genetics and hope the results of the study will help men whose Y chromosomes are damaged.

Researchers from the University of Hawaii studying the Y chromosome and how little it actually affects genetics, hope the results of the study will someday help men who are infertile.

DNA from both parents is combined into chromosomes which determine the characteristics of the offspring, including gender. An X and a Y chromosome makes you male while 2 X’s means you’re female.

Even after genetically modifying mice to have a Y chromosome that only expressed two genes instead of the normal 14, the researchers were still able to breed mice that could reproduce.

Doctor Allan Pacey, a senior lecturer in andrology from the University of Sheffield, commented on the study, saying: “The experiments are elegant and seem to show that in the mouse sperm production can be achieved when only two genes from the Y-chromosomes are present. Whilst this is of limited use in understanding human fertility, this kind of work is important if we are to unravel to complexities of how genes control fertility.”

For the mice, the two necessary genes that were left in the Y chromosome included one that allows the embryo to become male, and the gene that makes it possible to begin sperm production.

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