Friday, February 5, 2010

How can chromosome numbers change?

"The end result is that the chromosome is broken into two chromosomes. I think this is a key concept that the questioner is missing: chromosome numbers really aren't significant at all! You don't need to add significant new information to create a new chromosome, and as I'll show you in a moment, a reduction in chromosome numbers does not represent a loss of genetic information. Chromosome are disorganized filing cabinets, nothing more; we can shuffle genes around between them willy-nilly, and the cell mostly doesn't care. A fission event like the one described above basically does nothing but take one pile of genes and split them into two piles."

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