Men’s genes are slowly decreasing, a scientist has claimed. It appears the Y chromosome is dying out. Around 300 million years ago, the Y chromosome had 1,400 genes on it, and now it only has 45 genes left.
The scientist, Professor Jenny Graves from the Australian National University in Canberra, broke her news to medical students at a public lecture at the Royal College of Surgeons (RCSI) in Ireland. She said, “The Y chromosome is dying and the big question is what will happen then.”
The Y chromosome has a gene called SRY that determines maleness by triggering the development of testes and making male hormones.
Professor Graves mentioned two species – a rat in Japan and a type of mole vole – that don’t have a Y chromosome or SRY gene, but that are still alive and kicking. She commented, “Some other gene has taken over the job and we’d like to know what that gene is.”