A scientific breakthrough could shed light on some of the biggest threats facing men's health.
Driving the news: According to new research published in the Journal of Nature, scientists have fully sequenced the DNA of the Y chromosome.
- Fully understanding the Y chromosome—present alongside an X chromosome in cells of people born male—had proven challenging until now, with over half of its sequences unknown.
Why it matters: The breakthrough will open doors for new medical research into the links between Y chromosomes and male health problems, including infertility, cancer, and heart disease.
If you’ve ever wondered why women live longer than men, scientists believe one of the causes is that many men lose their Y chromosomes in some of their cells as they age, leaving them more vulnerable to health complications.
Scientists believe some genes in the Y chromosome are needed to prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Zoom out: Drugs designed to counteract the negative impact of the natural loss of Y chromosomes already exist. This breakthrough could lead to the development of more treatments for the life-threatening diseases that men typically experience as they age.—LA