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Y chromosome durability: AKA secret sex worries of science writers

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A semi-endearing habit of science writing these days is to assume that everyone worries about what the science writer worries about. For example, we give you “How about Men Can Rest Easy: Sex Chromosomes Are Here to Stay (ScienceDaily, May 8, 2012). In a study of chickens,

The study, published May 12 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), looked at how genes on sex-linked chromosomes are passed down generations and linked to fertility, using the specific example of the W chromosome in female chickens.

Chickens? Yes, because it is easy to measure their fertility by counting eggs.

The results confirm that although these chromosomes have shrunk over millions of years, and have lost many of their original genes, those that remain are extremely important in predicting fertility and are, therefore, unlikely to become extinct.

Professor Judith Mank, from the UCL Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment and senior author said: “Y chromosomes are here to stay, and are not the genetic wasteland that they were once thought to be.”

Genetic wasteland?

Lesson 1: What you didn’t think, you don’t need to unthink.

Lesson 2: This is a Coffee! Post. Don’t write to ask how it relates to ID.

Lesson 3: If you are a hen, keep on laying those eggs. You are in the unfortunate position that, unlike most people, your output can easily be assessed.

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