'Junk DNA' Intelligent Design News

Junk DNA files: Genes on the Y chromosome a must for male survival

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paired chromosomes/© Luk Cox, Fotolia

From ScienceDaily:

Despite a well-documented history of dramatic genetic decay, the human Y chromosome has over the course of millions of years of evolution managed to preserve a small set of genes that has ensured not only its own survival but also the survival of men. Moreover, the vast majority of these tenacious genes appear to have little if any role in sex determination or sperm production.

Taken together, these remarkable findings — published this week in the journal Nature — suggest that because these Y-linked genes are active across the body, they may actually be contributing to differences in disease susceptibility and severity observed between men and women.

“This paper tells us that not only is the Y chromosome here to stay, but that we need to take it seriously, and not just in the reproductive tract,” says Whitehead Institute Director David Page, whose lab conducted the research with collaborators from Washington University in St. Louis and Baylor College of Medicine. More.


“Evolution is telling us these genes are really important for survival,” adds Winston Bellott, a research scientist in the Page lab and lead author of the Nature paper. “They’ve been selected and purified over time.”

Good thing evolution tells things to Winston Bellott. We thought it just whistled while it worked.

The Y chromosome had been reprieved earlier from its status as a vestige about to disappear, but this is newish.

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6 Replies to “Junk DNA files: Genes on the Y chromosome a must for male survival

  1. 1
    jerry says:

    Interesting video. Only 27 genes on the Y chromosome and it only takes 1 to make an embryo a male. It would be fascinating to understand just how it did that.

    Does the Y chromosome have any junk DNA? Does the X chromosome have any junk DNA?

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Quotes of note from the article:

    Moreover, the vast majority of these tenacious genes appear to have little if any role in sex determination or sperm production.,,,
    “These are genes involved in decoding and interpreting the entirety of the genome.”,,,
    Page believes this research will at last allow his lab to transition from proving the so-called rotting Y theorists wrong to a new era in Y chromosome biology.,,,

    Reminds of this article from a few years back:

    Sex Chromosome Shocker: The ‘Female’ X a Key Contributor to Sperm Production – July 21, 2013
    Excerpt: Painstaking new analysis of the genetic sequence of the X chromosome — long perceived as the “female” counterpart to the male-associated Y chromosome — reveals that large portions of the X have “evolved” to play a specialized role in sperm production.

    Here are few more notes from a few years back:

    Recent Genetic Research Shows Chimps More Distant From Humans,,, – Jan. 2010
    Excerpt: A Nature paper from January, 2010 titled, “Chimpanzee and human Y chromosomes are remarkably divergent in structure and gene content,” found that Y chromosomes in humans and chimps “differ radically in sequence structure and gene content,” showing “extraordinary divergence” where “wholesale renovation is the paramount theme.”,,, “Even more striking than the gene loss is the rearrangement of large portions of the chromosome. More than 30% of the chimp Y chromosome lacks an alignable counterpart on the human Y chromosome, and vice versa,,,”

    A False Trichotomy
    Excerpt: The common chimp (Pan troglodytes) and human Y chromosomes are “horrendously different from each other”, says David Page,,, “It looks like there’s been a dramatic renovation or reinvention of the Y chromosome in the chimpanzee and human lineages.”

    Chimp and human Y chromosomes evolving faster than expected – Jan. 2010
    Excerpt: “The results overturned the expectation that the chimp and human Y chromosomes would be highly similar. Instead, they differ remarkably in their structure and gene content.,,, The chimp Y, for example, has lost one third to one half of the human Y chromosome genes.

    The evolutionary scientists of the preceding paper offered some evolutionary ‘just so’ stories of ‘dramatically sped up evolution’ for why there are such significant differences in the Y chromosomes of chimps and humans, yet when the Y chromosome is looked at for its rate of change we find there is hardly any evidence for any change at all, much less the massive changes the evolutionists are required to explain.

    Excerpt: To their great surprise, Dorit and his associates found no nucleotide differences at all in the non-recombinant part of the Y chromosomes of the 38 men. This non-variation suggests no evolution has occurred in male ancestry.

    Theory of the ‘Rotting’ Y Chromosome Dealt a Fatal Blow – February 2012
    Excerpt: “the sequence of the rhesus Y, shows the chromosome hasn’t lost a single ancestral gene in the past 25 million years. By comparison, the human Y has lost just one ancestral gene in that period, and that loss occurred in a segment that comprises just 3% of the entire chromosome”, “,,,earlier work comparing the human and chimpanzee Ys revealed a stable human Y for at least six million years. “Now our empirical data fly in the face of the other theories out there. With no loss of genes on the rhesus Y and one gene lost on the human Y, it’s clear the Y isn’t going anywhere.”

    Of related interest: Man’s sexual reproduction relies on ‘hydraulics’ whereas chimpanzees have an actual bone involved in their reproductive system:

    Ian Juby’s Chimp compared to Man sexual reproduction video – (plus Can sexual reproduction plausibly evolve in the first place?) – video

    The Red Ape – Cornelius Hunter – August 2009
    Excerpt: “There remains, however, a paradoxical problem lurking within the wealth of DNA data: our morphology and physiology have very little, if anything, uniquely in common with chimpanzees to corroborate a unique common ancestor. Most of the characters we do share with chimpanzees also occur in other primates, and in sexual biology and reproduction we could hardly be more different. It would be an understatement to think of this as an evolutionary puzzle.”

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    One of the most enigmatic ‘novelties’ of the Cambrian explosion was the appearance of unique sexual reproduction for a wide variety of different phyla:

    How did the sexes originate? Why is it that the vast majority of living things require a “male and female” to reproduce? If evolution were true – doesn’t it make much more sense that EVERY living organism was self-replicating and required no useless energy expenditure? When did the first male get here? When did the first female get here? How? Why? Wouldn’t they have had to appear fully functional and at the same time in order for the next generation of organisms to arrive? Of course, they would. So, how is it that the first male and female for almost 2 million living organisms arrived together and fully functional so that reproduction could take place? “Sex is the QUEEN of evolutionary biology problems.”
    Dr. Graham Bell – In his book, ‘The Masterpiece of Nature’

    Richard Dawkins interview with a ‘Darwinian’ physician goes off track – video
    Excerpt: “I am amazed, Richard, that what we call metazoans, multi-celled organisms, have actually been able to evolve, and the reason [for amazement] is that bacteria and viruses replicate so quickly — a few hours sometimes, they can reproduce themselves — that they can evolve very, very quickly. And we’re stuck with twenty years at least between generations. How is it that we resist infection when they can evolve so quickly to find ways around our defenses?”

    Moreover, its been known for quite a while, as Walter Remine relates in this following interview, that sexual reproduction severely limits genetic variability rather than enhances it as Darwinists had originally thought.

    Walter ReMine on the Origin of Sexual Reproduction – interview

    Sex Is Not About Promoting Genetic Variation, Researchers Argue – (July 7, 2011)
    Excerpt: Biology textbooks maintain that the main function of sex is to promote genetic diversity. But Henry Heng, Ph.D., associate professor in WSU’s Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, says that’s not the case.,,,
    ,,,the primary function of sex is not about promoting diversity. Rather, it’s about keeping the genome context — an organism’s complete collection of genes arranged by chromosome composition and topology — as unchanged as possible, thereby maintaining a species’ identity. This surprising analysis has been published as a cover article in a recent issue of the journal Evolution.,,,
    For nearly 130 years, traditional perceptions hold that asexual reproduction generates clone-like offspring and sexual reproduction leads to more diverse offspring. “In reality, however, the relationship is quite the opposite,” said Heng.,,,

  4. 4
    WGalbraith says:

    Does the Y chromosome have any junk DNA? Does the X chromosome have any junk DNA?

    Y chromosome – Wikipedia

  5. 5
    awstar says:

    from the study:

    The loss of genetic content on the Y is not in dispute. In fact, a recent study from Page’s own lab showed that the human Y chromosome retains only 19 of the more than 600 genes it once shared with its ancestral autosomal partner, the X chromosome. However, by comparing the sequence of the human Y chromosome with that of the chimpanzee and the rhesus macaque, the lab discovered that the human Y has lost only one ancestral gene over the past 25 million years. Since then, the Y has been more than holding its own.

    Loosing 581 genes from 600 down to 19, and then 25 million years of stasis! Now that’s really evolving! Makes you wonder if the human Y started with just 19 in the first place, doesn’t it?

  6. 6

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