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Animal sperm all related.


A sperm-producing gene that appeared at the dawn of animal evolution is present in nearly every animal from sea anemones to people, suggesting that the male reproductive cell evolved from a common ancestor. Most animals' sperm cells (human, left) have similar developmental stages, suggesting a common origin. Yet no one had found a reproductive gene common to all animals. A report July 15 in PLoS Genetics suggests that the BOULE gene, which arose about 600 million years ago, is crucial to sperm production. "This is the first human sperm gene that has been found functionally conserved in insects and in mammals," says study coauthor Eugene Xu of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

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Title Annotation:Genes & Cells; reproductive cells of man and animals are from a common origin
Author:Dickey, Gwyneth
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 14, 2010
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