The End of Y Chromosome Is Near – Will Men Become Extinct?
While men are considered stronger than women, that is not true at the chromosomal level. The Y chromosome, which is responsible for determining whether an embryo develops into a male or a female, is becoming weaker and weaker as time passes. This means that, in about 4.6 million years, according to scientists, the Y chromosome will die out completely, which would effectively be the end of the male population.
Why is the Y chromosome so important?
The Y chromosome has the switching gene which is responsible for changing the gender of the all-female embryo. Otherwise, it is pretty much useless, as women do not have the Y chromosome and function perfectly well without it. However, according to scientists, this was not always be the case. About 166 million years ago, the Y chromosome was just as strong as the X chromosome, containing all the same genes.
What makes the Y chromosome prone to degeneration?
The fault lies within the passing of the chromosome from the father to the son. While all the other chromosomes are passed in pairs from parents to their children, the Y chromosome is passed on in a single copy. This is problematic because when chromosomes are passed in pairs, the genes within can form distinct combinations which allow for the elimination of faulty gene mutations. The Y chromosome, due to its singularity, does not have that option, hence, are prone to weakness and ultimate destruction.
However, a recent study has shown how the Y chromosome may have worked out a solution to its probable demise, slowing down its degeneration, maybe even stopping it altogether. The study, which studied the Y chromosome in around 62 men, identified how the Y chromosome, although unable to form recombination of genes, rearranges its structure to a great extent in order to allow for a stronger gene pool every time its passed on.
This unique structural formation in the Y chromosome is called palindromes, which means the genetic code embedded within the Y chromosome is stored in such a way that it can be read both forwards as well as backwards (such as “kayak”).
While conducting the research, scientists observed how the Y chromosome carried out many conversion events, changing the faulty genes with the backup copies that came with the palindromic structure of the chromosome. To make the findings more conclusive, researchers looked at the Y chromosome structures in other animals, mostly mammals, and found that the Y chromosome was performing gene amplification there as well.
However, the medical community is split over whether these defense mechanisms are enough to save the Y chromosome, with many arguing that this is simply the Y chromosome’s final try to save itself, and it will eventually fail.
What Will Happen If the Y Chromosome Disappears?
There are a few species that have lost the Y chromosome completely, such as mole voles. Interestingly, males continue to be born because they are essential for reproduction. This is happening because the switching gene which was present in the Y chromosome has now moved on to another chromosome. Now, the Y chromosome is not needed at all in those species.
However, a property of the switching gene is that it disallows for the traveling of the chromosome in pairs, hence the new chromosome hosting the switching gene will start degenerating itself.
Does the Y chromosome Matter Anymore in Humans?
With the advancement in genetic engineering technology, it is now becoming increasingly possible to engineer and replicate the switching gene which is responsible for determining the gender of human beings. As most genes found in the Y chromosome are not necessary at all, it is possible to remove the Y chromosome entirely without impacting humans at all. This also means that, thanks to science, it may become possible for same-gender couples to conceive a child.
Nothing to Worry About
However, this would not be necessary for millions of years, as the Y chromosome will persist. Hence, most human generations that are to follow will be born the natural way without any need of scientific intervention.
In fact, the scientific community is not even sure if the Y chromosome will disappear at all. And, considering how unimportant the Y chromosome is, its disappearance is no reason for alarm.
More in Health & Well-Being
Universal Music Group’s Value Surges to $33.3 Billion Following the Increase of Music Streaming Users!
Thanks to the increased number of users streaming songs from renowned Hollywood artists like Drake and Taylor Swift, UMG’s net value...January 11, 2020
Want to be Successful In Business? Follow these Tips from Renowned Entrepreneurs!
While everyone dreams of becoming an entrepreneur, only a few people succeed in this field. The truth is it’s not easy...January 9, 2020
Experts Reveal The Truth About Gaining Weight While Eating at Night
As you try to lose weight, you might’ve heard about some people advising you against eating the moment the clock strikes...January 9, 2020
Serena Williams to Launch Her Affordable Clothing Line Available For All Sizes
Aside from reaching the peak of her professional tennis career, Serena Williams recently revealed her new business venture. Back in May,...January 8, 2020
Kanye West Backed Out of Coachella Because of One Strange Reason
Some of our favorite celebrities can be a touch eccentric. We sometimes can’t really process how they thought about their decisions...January 8, 2020
Renowned Businesswoman Sophia Amoruso Gives Her Advice on Starting Over After Failure
In life, most people treasured and celebrated their success and milestones. Whenever we get successful in something or we’ve achieved our...January 7, 2020
Check Out these Effective Workout Tips from Famous Celebrities!
Don’t you wish you had a healthy and fit body? Have you ever tried working out a couple of times in...January 7, 2020
Prince William and Duchess Kate Reveal the Stunning Christmas Photo Card of their Royal Family!
Now that the Holiday Season is just around the corner, the royal family of Prince William and Duchess Kate revealed their...January 6, 2020
American Cancer Society Drops Ideal Screening Age at 45
According to the recent statistics, more and more people are being diagnosed with colorectal cancer. However, not everyone is actually as...January 5, 2020