by Ann Gibbons, ScienceNOW Daily News, 13 January 2010
"The Y chromosome has long been thought of as a stagnant part of the genome, where genes are slowly decaying in males of all species. But the first comprehensive comparison of the Y chromosome in two species--specifically, humans and chimpanzees--shows that in fact, it is a hot spot of evolution. 'It's really exciting; it's totally well-documented; it's really dramatic,' says population geneticist Andrew Clark of Cornell University.Read the rest of the article here.
As is well-known, humans and chimps share 98% of their DNA. But more than 30% of the DNA differs between chimps and humans in the region of the Y chromosome that determines sex. This suggests that the Y chromosome has undergone 'extraordinary' remodeling in both species in the 6 million years or so since they split from a common ancestor, says geneticist David Page, director of the Whitehead Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge."