Reports of Looming Male Extinction Exaggerated
Contrary toِ previous belief, men mayِ not beِ on theِ way outِ afterِ all.
New research reveals thatِ the Y chromosome isِ not rapidly degrading andِ is unlikelyِ toِ disappear.
The idea thatِ the male sex chromosome andِ its owners wouldِ somedayِ vanish isِ based onِ the process byِ which ourِ cells form sperm andِ eggs.
But Hughes’ newِ research suggests thatِ men canِ breathe easy.
She andِ her colleagues sequenced theِ genome ofِ the rhesus macaque, anِ Old World monkey whoseِ lineage split fromِ that ofِ humans 25 million years ago.
Prior toِ thisِ study, researchers couldِ only compare theِ human Y chromosome withِ thatِ ofِ the chimpanzee Y.
The rate of decay appears to have just basically ceased at this point, Hughes said.
The future of men
The reason forِ the Y’s stability likelyِ comesِ down toِ theِ fact thatِ itِ simply can’tِ lose anymore genes withoutِ vanishing completely.
In otherِ words, theِ genes thatِ remain onِ the Y chromosome areِ so crucial thatِ losing themِ mightِ ensure thatِ the organism doesn’tِ survive.
Hughes andِ her colleagues plan toِ sequence theِ genomes ofِ evenِ more distantly related mammals, including mice, rats, marmosets andِ opossums, inِ hopes ofِ tracing theِ evolution ofِ the male chromosome backِ even further.