Y Marks the Spot

scientific photo showing chromosomes

The chromosome associated with male development, which is the last mysterious piece of the human genome, has been fully sequenced by a team of more than 100 researchers around the world, including Johns Hopkins scientists.

The achievement completes the Y chromosome’s genetic code and unveils key details that could provide a crisper picture of the role the chromosome plays in male-specific development, fertility and genetically triggered diseases like cancer.

“We are at a point where scientists can start using this map,” says MICHAEL SCHATZ, a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor in computer science, biology and oncology, and an author of the research, published in Nature. “We were previously blind to different parts of the genome and different mutations, but now that we can see the whole genome, we hope we can add new insights to the genetics of a lot of different diseases.”