Researchers have discovered that the Y chromosome, responsible for assigning gender, also has genes to regulate cell function in a male's body as well as the behavior of all genes in his genome. The Y chromosome, which contains only 3% of common ancestral genes, had long been thought to not be as important as the X chromosome. However, "it looks like the Y has the potential to do a lot of regulation, from the earliest stages of development right after fertilization all the way to adulthood in every tissue," said lead author Winston Bellott of the Whitehead Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The study is published in Nature.
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