Guys often get a bad rap as being the more primitive of the sexes. But a new study shows that men may actually be more evolved from their chimpanzee roots than women.
The study, featured in the online journal Nature found that a man's Y chromosome is about 30 percent different than a chimp's, compared to the 2 percent difference between the rest of the human genetic code and that of the chimpanzee's. This means that the Y chromosome, the genetic code that make a man a man, is evolving far faster than the rest of the human genetic code.
"The Y chromosome appears to be the most rapidly evolving of the human chromosomes," said study co-author Dr. David Page, director of the prestigious Whitehead Institute in Cambridge and a professor of biology at MIT. "It's an almost ongoing churning of gene reconstruction. It's like a house that's constantly being rebuilt."
But before men start patting themselves on their over-evolved backs too quickly, lead author Jennifer Hughes offers some words of caution: Just because the Y chromosome, which determines gender, is evolving at a speedy rate it doesn't necessarily mean men themselves are more evolved. Researchers simply took the most detailed examination of the Y chromosome, which females do not have, of both humans and chimps and found entire sections were dramatically different.
Further research is needed to determine if any other chromosomes, such as those shared by both men and women, are as evolved as the Y chromosome.
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