Study claims that Human sperm gene is 600 million years old
A study has claimed to have found that the human sperm gene is 600 million years old that was the time of the beginning of the animal evolution.
The research team at the Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois has found that a sex related gene called Boule has not changed since the animal evolution and is found in all animals. The Boule is responsible for sperm production and is present in most animals from an insect to a mammal.
Prof Eugene Xu, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University and leader of the study said, "This is the first clear evidence that suggests our ability to produce sperm is very ancient, probably originating at the dawn of animal evolution 600 million years ago. This finding suggests that all animal sperm production likely comes from a common prototype."
He says that the study Boule's role in animal evolution offers greater understanding of male infertility and other areas such as male contraceptive drug and also on development of pesticides against infectious parasites.
The Boule gene was first discovered in humans in 2001 and is believed to be responsible for making sperms in all species.
"It really suggests a new perspective of how we look at humans and how sperm production evolved." Said Xu.
In order to prove that the sperm gene arose only once, in a common ancestor instead of forming separately in different species the team collected samples sperm from a wide sample of different animals, including humans, roosters, flies, trout, and sea anemones.
The team found each animal species mainly express the Boule gene it its testicles. To prove that Boule is the sole gene responsible for sperm making the team disrupt the gene had to disrupt the gene. They tried it on lab mice and the male wasn’t able to produce sperm.
Xu said this can be useful to prevent diseases like controlling pests such as mosquitoes. He also said that the gene has only one function and turning it off will not affect the health of humans.
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