For a long time, biologists have predicted that the Y chromosome—the DNA that makes men men—was gradually dying out, and that it would eventually lead to the extiniction of the male of the species. Fortunately, a team of researchers has proven that isn't the case.
A few years back, we learned that the Y chromosome was essentially rotting, shedding hundreds of its genes over the last 300 million years. That isn't wrong, but it turns out reports of the Y chromosome's eventual extinction were premature.
Reproductive arrangements don't get much stranger than those of the Batura toad of Pakistan. The entire species is the result of two unknown species interbreeding, and each toad carries three sets of genes...which makes passing on its genome extremely tricky.
There's a longstanding belief that, on average, women are healthier than men, and with good reason. Women live longer, and studies reveal women fight off disease better than their male counterparts. But where does this advantage come from? Turns out it's all thanks to some microRNA on the X-chromosome.
320 million years ago, mammals and reptiles reached an evolutionary parting of the ways. We've now sequenced a lizard genome for the first time ever, and it's vastly different from our own...but in a few crucial ways, it's shockingly similar.
There are tons of genetic reasons why people are obese - after all, it's important that we eat, and we didn't evolve to live in a world of plentiful food. But why would anyone be genetically predisposed to extreme thinness?
Most of us wouldn't welcome getting partially eaten by a wild animal — but it could be the best thing that can happen to a plant.
The evidence has been mounting for years that early humans and Neanderthals interbred, but now it's pretty much a certainty. Part of the X chromosome found in people from outside Africa originally comes from our Neanderthal cousins.