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March 4 2013

Human Y chromosome much older than previously thought


University of Arizona geneticists have discovered the oldest known genetic branch of the human Y chromosome the hereditary factor determining male sex.

The new divergent lineage, which was found in an individual who submitted his DNA to Family Tree DNA, a company specializing in DNA analysis to trace family roots, branched from the Y chromosome tree before the first appearance of anatomically modern humans in the fossil record.

The results are published in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

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