Imagine a world without men: Lauren Bacall but no Bogie, Hillary Clinton but no Bill, no Starsky or Hutch.
This isn’t just an unlikely sci-fi scenario. This could be reality, according to Bryan Sykes, an eminent professor of genetics at Oxford University and author of “Adam’s Curse: A Future Without Men.”
“The Y chromosome is deteriorating and will, in my belief, disappear,” Sykes told me. A world-renowned authority on genetic material, Sykes is called upon to investigate DNA evidence from crime scenes. His team of researchers is currently compiling a DNA family tree for our species.
Y Chromosome ‘Fatally Flawed’
The Y chromosome is passed from father to son, it’s what makes babies into boys. Basically the human template is a female: the Y chromosome kicks in a few weeks after conception and makes a boy. “Men are genetically modified women,” explained Sykes. But unlike other chromosomes, the Y chromosome can’t repair itself and will, says Sykes, disappear altogether in about 125,000 years.
“Every generation one percent of men will have a mutation which reduces their fertility by 10 percent,” explained Sykes. Unlike most chromosomes, the Y does not travel through the generation in pairs, so can never repair itself from a mirror. Flaws are never repaired. “So if that goes on for generation after generation,” Sykes argued, “eventually there are no functioning Y chromosomes left.”
So no more men … sparsely populated sports bars, Ferrari would lose the lion’s share of its business, and Hooters would probably go out of business.
It’s a long time, 125,000 years. But we men have a far more immediate problem: sperm counts have fallen by an incredible 20 percent in the past 50 years. Stress? Alcohol? Environmental pollution? Who knows, but it’s deeply concerning for those of us with a vested interest in the survival of the male.
Sykes has received hate mail. “To seem to be saying that men will become extinct, which is what I am saying,” he mused. “I’ve had all kinds of messages from male groups saying, ‘how can you betray your gender?'”
But would the absence of men make the world a better place? There would be far fewer wars without men on the planet, and the U.S. prison population would drop a colossal 97 percent. Road deaths in the U.S. would fall 70 percent. The Olympics would be half as long, which some people might view as a good thing.
But surely, flawed Y chromosome or not, bad behavior or not, we are needed for procreation. Women can’t have babies without us … right? I’m afraid, pretty soon they won’t need our sperm, our chromosomes, our anything.
Until now, female-only reproduction has been limited to the plant and animal kingdom. So-called parthenogenesis, observed in the Cape Honey Bee, the Kimono Dragon and the hammerhead shark. In humans: confined to 1950s B movies. But Sykes says the technology for women to procreate without us is just around the corner.
“Within the next few years you will get two women having a child who is the biological child of both of them,” Sykes said. “And entirely normal in every respect, but always female.”
Male sex chromosome facing extinction due to rapid evolution
Posted: 12:37a.m. IST, July 17, 2009
Washington, July 17 (ANI): A new research has revealed that the sex chromosome that only males carry is deteriorating and could disappear within a few million years.
Scientists at Penn State University (PSU) found that the male Y chromosome evolved at a much more rapid pace than X chromosome, which both males and females carry.
This rapid evolution of the Y chromosome has led to a dramatic loss of its genes at a rate that could eventually lead to its disappearance.
The team includes Kateryna Makova, associate professor who led the research and National Science Foundation graduate research fellow Melissa Wilson.
There are three classes of mammals. Egg-laying mammals, like the platypus and the echidna; marsupials, like the opossum and the wallaby; and all other mammals – called eutherians – which include humans, dogs, mice, and giraffes. The X and Y chromosomes of marsupials and eutherians evolved from a pair of non-sex chromosomes to become sex chromosomes, Makova said.
Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes, which are the structures that hold our DNA, but just one pair of these chromosomes are sex chromosomes.
In eutherian mammals, the sex chromosomes contain an additional region of DNA whereas, in the egg-laying mammals and marsupials, this additional region of DNA is located on the non-sex chromosomes, said Makova.
Today, the human Y chromosome contains less than 200 genes, while the human X chromosome contains around 1,100 genes, said Wilson.
We know that a few of the genes on the Y chromosome are important, such as the ones involved in the formation of sperm, but we also know that most of the genes were not important for survival because they were lost, which led to the very different numbers of genes we observe between the once-identical X and Y, the expert added.
Although some of the genes on the Y chromosome have been maintained, most of them have died, and the team found evidence that some others are on track to disappear as well.
Even though some of the genes appear to be important, we still think there is a chance that the Y chromosome eventually could disappear, said Makova.
If this happens, it won’t be the end of males. Instead, a new pair of non-sex chromosomes likely will start on the path to becoming sex chromosomes, the researcher added.
These findings were published in the Friday issue of PLoS Genetics. (ANI)
there is a man in every women
adam in every madam
male in every female
men is 1 women 0
i do not say so but men do feel & women do not object
why else women wear bikini & men shorts?
let the damsel do what she may
the cat will mew & the dog will have his day