Chromosome Y News and Research

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The Y chromosome is one of the two sex chromosomes in humans (the other is the X chromosome). The sex chromosomes form one of the 23 pairs of human chromosomes in each cell. The Y chromosome spans about 58 million base pairs (the building blocks of DNA) and represents almost 2 percent of the total DNA in cells.

Each person normally has one pair of sex chromosomes in each cell. The Y chromosome is present in males, who have one X and one Y chromosome, while females have two X chromosomes.

Identifying genes on each chromosome is an active area of genetic research. Because researchers use different approaches to predict the number of genes on each chromosome, the estimated number of genes varies. The Y chromosome likely contains between 70 and 200 genes. Because only males have the Y chromosome, the genes on this chromosome tend to be involved in male sex determination and development. Sex is determined by the SRY gene, which is responsible for the development of a fetus into a male. Other genes on the Y chromosome are important for male fertility.

Many genes are unique to the X or Y chromosome, but genes in an area known as the pseudoautosomal region are present on both chromosomes. As a result, men and women each have two functional copies of these genes. Many genes in the pseudoautosomal region are essential for normal development.

Genes on the Y chromosome are among the estimated 20,000 to 25,000 total genes in the human genome.
New technique to study genetic changes could enhance cancer diagnosis

New technique to study genetic changes could enhance cancer diagnosis

Study indicates new element involved in genome instability

Study indicates new element involved in genome instability

Existing drugs could help subgroup of patients with osteosarcoma, suggest scientists

Existing drugs could help subgroup of patients with osteosarcoma, suggest scientists

MIT biologists identify how the immune system eliminates genetically imbalanced cells

MIT biologists identify how the immune system eliminates genetically imbalanced cells

Penn/CHOP research helps to better understand cause of pediatric and treatment-related leukemias

Penn/CHOP research helps to better understand cause of pediatric and treatment-related leukemias

Impairment of specific gene increases susceptibility to opioid addiction and binge eating, study shows

Impairment of specific gene increases susceptibility to opioid addiction and binge eating, study shows

Anorexia nervosa linked to genetic anomalies on chromosome 12

Anorexia nervosa linked to genetic anomalies on chromosome 12

New cancer drug shows promise to treat leukemia in mouse models

New cancer drug shows promise to treat leukemia in mouse models

Study finds evidence that genes influence empathy

Study finds evidence that genes influence empathy

Researchers uncover protective mechanism of rotifers that may have implications for aging research

Researchers uncover protective mechanism of rotifers that may have implications for aging research

Researchers find new way to block type 1 diabetes

Researchers find new way to block type 1 diabetes

Phase 2 clinical study examines Alzheimer's disease drug to treat adults with Down syndrome

Phase 2 clinical study examines Alzheimer's disease drug to treat adults with Down syndrome

Collaborative effort to develop rare disease patient registries

Collaborative effort to develop rare disease patient registries

Innate genetic advantage contributes to better outcomes in newborn infant girls than boys, research shows

Innate genetic advantage contributes to better outcomes in newborn infant girls than boys, research shows

Scientists identify key gene in 22q11.2 that contributes to genitourinary birth defects

Scientists identify key gene in 22q11.2 that contributes to genitourinary birth defects

UCLA study characterizes brain differences between people with genetic risk for schizophrenia, autism

UCLA study characterizes brain differences between people with genetic risk for schizophrenia, autism

Research findings may provide answers for infertility in older women

Research findings may provide answers for infertility in older women

Sperm epigenetics and fertility

Sperm epigenetics and fertility

Weekly doses of steroids help hasten recovery in muscle injuries

Weekly doses of steroids help hasten recovery in muscle injuries

Study identifies first genetic locus for anorexia nervosa

Study identifies first genetic locus for anorexia nervosa