Contemporary Science Issues and Innovations: Evolution of the Y Chromosome

David Page, M.D., Professor of Biology at MIT, describes the odd history of the Y chromosome, its apparent loss of genes and its presumed fragility. He explains the great difficulty of decoding the Y chromosome, and what scientists have discovered about its complex role in evolution. He also discusses an emerging interest in this field regarding the relationship between the sex chromosomes and conditions that affect males or females disproportionately: for example why autism affects males much more than females.