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Bioessays. 1998 May;20(5):363-6.

The mammalian Y chromosome: a new perspective.

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Laboratory of Developmental Genetics, National Institute for Medical Research, London, UK.


For several decades, the mammalian Y chromosome was considered a genetic "desert," with the testis determinant being the sole survivor of the attrition that followed the chromosome's inception. Aside from the addition of a genetic factor required for spermatogenesis to the human Y chromosome in 1976, this view held sway until the mid-1980s. The ensuing molecular genetic analysis, culminating in the recent paper in Science by Lahn and Page, has identified more than 20 genes or gene families on the human Y. This has led to a reappraisal of the evolution and functions of this unique chromosome.

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