24 Feb '12, 12pm

Men not going extinct, despite shrinking Y chromosome

NEW YORK - Men are not going extinct, scientists assured the world on Wednesday. The Y chromosome, the strand of DNA that determines male sex, contained about 800 genes some 200 million years ago. Now, though, it has only 30, leading some scientists to conclude it could disappear altogether, bringing about the end of men. But that is probably not the case, said Dr Jennifer Hughes, a researcher with the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The number of genes on the chromosome have been stable for at least the past 25 million years, she and her colleagues found in a study reported in the journal Nature. "Although the Y chromosome did suffer quite a bit over the course of evolution, it seems like what remains of it is not going anywhere," Dr Hughes said. "The genes that remain on it have critical biological functions, and that means they a...

Full article: http://www.todayonline.com/World/EDC120224-0000036/Men-no...

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