Posted by Neill Abayon
Researchers have discovered that large portions of the X chromosome - long thought to be the "female" version of the male Y chromosome - have evolved to play a specialized role in sperm production.
The study, published in the journal Nature Genetics, reveals that although the X chromosome has a "reputation" of being the most stable chromosome of the genome, it has rapidly evolved.
Researchers from the Whitehead Institute say the results mean that the medical and biological importance of the X chromosome needs to be reevaluated.
David Page, director of the Whitehead Institute, Cambridge, MA, says:
We view this as the double life of the X chromosome. The X is the most famous, most intensely studied chromosome in all of human genetics. And the story of the X has been the story of X-linked recessive diseases, such as color blindness, hemophilia, and Duchenne's muscular dystrophy."
"But there's another side to the X, a side that is rapidly evolving and seems to be attuned to the reproductive needs of males."