Happy Father's Day from NHGRI
Facts about the Y Chromosome that all fathers - all males - carry!
From NHGRI to you: Have a happy Father's Day and learn about the Y chromosome - the chromosome of all living men that is related through a single male ancestor who lived over 100,000 years ago!
11 Neat Facts About the Y Chromosome:
- In the nucleus of each cell, the DNA molecule is packaged into a thread-like struture called chromosomes.
- In humans, each cell contains 23 pairs of chromosomes, for a total of 46.
- 22 of these pairs are called autosomes and look the same in men and women. The 23rd pair, the sex chromosomes, differ between men and women.
- Men have one Y chromosome and one X chromosome. Women have two X chromsomes.
- The Y chromosome is one-third the size of the X chromsome. The X has more than 1,000 genes, while the Y has fewer than 200.
- Some genes that were thought to be lost from the Y chromosome have actually relocated to the autosomes.
- The Y chromosome, found only in men, is passed from father to son.
- The Y chromsomes of all living men are relocated through a single male ancestor who lived over 100,000 years ago.
- Men who smoke have fewer Y chromosomes in their blood cells compared to non-smokers.
- Y's are complicated! The ability to sequence the Y chromosome is a relatively new field of genomics research.
- Many health conditions are related to changes on the Y chromosome.
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Last Updated: June 25,, 2018