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The Evolution of Sex: Rethinking the Rotting Y Chromosome

The Evolution of Sex: Rethinking the Rotting Y Chromosome

This video was recorded at MIT World Host: Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. According to David Page, "the Y chromosome is the Rodney Dangerfield of the human genome." Regarded for 50 years as a genetic wasteland, the Y chromosome just doesn't get any respect…until now. Page's lab has made some startling discoveries that reverse the prevailing view. Recall from basic biology that pairs of chromosomes exchange genetic material through a process of crossing over. This leads to genetic variation in offspring, and can weed out dangerous mutations. Although there's limited gene swapping between the sex-determining X and Y chromosomes, the popular belief has been that a large portion of the Y could not recombine, and therefore will sooner or later self destruct. The long-term outlook... Show More

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