More to male chromosome than previously thought, according to a report in news@nature 19 Jan 2005. In June 2003 scientists in the USA announced they had fully sequenced the human male Y chromosome and found 78 genes. This is a small number of genes, but the Y chromosome is very small and has generally been considered to be genetic wasteland. However, scientists in Germany have now found a previously undiscovered sequence of over half a million DNA letters that may contain genes involved in determining men’s height and susceptibility to cancers of male reproductive organs.
Editorial Comment: Here is another example where evolution proves to be a poor prediction tool for science. The concept of the male Y chromosome being a genetic wasteland comes from the evolutionary assumption that the Y chromosome was once a part of pair of larger chromosomes, which somehow became unpaired during the evolution of mammals. This meant it could no longer use the gene repair mechanisms that paired chromosomes have, so it lost much of its structure and function over millions of years of mutations and breakages. However, the 2003 study of the chromosome revealed it actually had a unique method of gene repair built into it, so that it didn’t need to be part of a chromosome pair. This further study reinforces evidence that the male Y chromosome is a fully functional chromosome, well designed for its special role – just what creation based science would predict. (Ref. prediction, scientific models, human genome)