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Men May be Extinct in Five Million Years Due to Decaying of Y Chromosome

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A leading researcher and scientist said that men will be extinct in five million years due to the weakening of the Y chromosome.

Professor Jenny Graves said that the process of Y chromosome deterioration has already started, and that if we do not develop a way to fix it, men will no longer exist.

Graves said it is all in the numbers. 

The X chromosome of women contains around 1,000 genes. Women have two of these, while men only have one.

Though the Y chromosome started off having as much genes as the X chromosome, it has been whittled down to just 100 genes.

Graves said the presence of two X chromosomes in women make it easier for them to make repairs, but because men only have one X chromosome, mistakes made in the Y chromosome are not as easily repaired and so they crumble away.

"The X chromosome is all alone in the male but in the female it has a friend, so it can swop bits and repair itself. If the Y gets hit, it's a downward spiral," she said during a lecture.

"It is very bad news for all the men here."

She also said that the remaining genes on the Y chromosome are "mostly junk."

"It's a lovely example of what I call dumb design," she said. "It's an evolutionary accident."

But at least we have time on our side, as Graves said it will be a few hundred million years before the Y chromosome disappears.

And in those five million years, we will certainly come up with a way to fix it, at least according to the most optimistic scientists.

Professor Robin Lovell-Badge said it might even be longer than that, at least 25 million years, and said there is no reason to be concerned.

Professor Chris Mason said if it does disappear according to Graves' timeline, there is time to make changes.

"Five or six million years should be plenty of time for medical science to produce a fix and probably a Nobel Prize," he said. 

Graves, however, doesn't even think we will need to come up with a solution, as nature will take care of it.

She believes that when the Y chromosome crumbles, another chromosome will take on its role, creating a new species of human.

This has already happened in the case of the Japanese spiny rat, which lost its Y chromosome but survived.

Graves even suggested that this is already occurring in some groups of people, but we do not know it because we can't test every single person's genes.

"We would not even suspect it without checking the chromosomes," she said.

Sources: Examiner, Daily Mail