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Is The Human Male Going Extinct? - Health - Nairaland

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Is The Human Male Going Extinct? by Nobody: 4:42pm On Feb 25, 2012
Men are doomed? Not quite, says gene study Feb 24, 2012, 07.00AM IST AFP
Theories that men will eventually become extinct
because the Y chromosome which determines
maleness is shrinking are quite wrong, according
to a gene study published on Wednesday.
The men-are-doomed scenario leapt to prominence nearly a decade ago when scientists
found that the male chromosome had
dramatically shrivelled. It had plummeted from a
super-Y of more than 1,400 genes several
hundred million years ago to a nubby little stump
with just several dozen. That discovery triggered opinion that the Y was on
the skids. We humans could end up like the
Transcaucasian mole vole, according to one
worrying thought.
A mammal whose Y chromosome has been
routed by evolutionary pressure, the mole vole has differentiated into two species, one of which
is Y-less. How the gender of its offspring is
determined is a mystery.
In the worst scenario, men would disappear
without some artificial means to keep the
beleaguered gender going. Some doomsayers said this would happen in
around five million years as the Y chromosome
went the way of the dodo.
But the latest study says the Y's shrinkage
occurred in the very distant past and the
chromosome has been wonderfully stable for millions of years. The new evidence comes from a
comparison of the human Y chromosome with
that of the rhesus macaque - a so-called Old
World monkey whose evolutionary path diverged
from humans and chimps some 25 million years
ago.
_
www.timesofindia.com/home/science/Men-are-doomed-Not-quite-says-gene-study/articleshow/12013865.cms

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