Is the male sex chromosome headed for extinction?

Despite most males' fondness for their Y chromosome, a new study conducted at Penn State predicts that the male sex chromosome may soon be lopped off—soon in evolutionary time: a few million years.

Before you female readers start celebrating the triumph of the X chromosome over Y, you should know that this prediction is based on the theory that the Y chromosome has evolved at an accelerated rate, causing the chromosome to shed useless genes—like the genes controlling table manners and the need to talk on the phone about nothing for hours.

Now, most all that separates males from females exists on less than 200 genes on the Y chromosome, while the X chromosome contains about 1,100. It's my uneducated opinion that all of the impossible complexities of women exist on this overloaded chromosome—how else do you explain why women want you to be honest then curse you for saying their feet are a little fat. All I'm saying is the X chromosome could stand to go on a genetic diet.

And, before you women start planning perpetual ladies nights where you can hit the dance floor without the fear of being dry humped, researchers believe this evolutionary step will not mean the end of men. Instead, we will simply loose our useless traits, and evolve, possibly into even more perfect supermen. Researchers had no comment on whether this change would correct men's inability to put the toilet seat down or our disdain of shopping.

"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. Although there is evidence that the Y chromosome is still degrading, some of the surviving genes on the Y chromosome may be essential, which can be inferred because these genes have been maintained for so long," Wilson explained.

"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 team leader Kateryna Makova, an associate professor of biology. "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."

To read more scientific gibberish on the subject check out For more of my highly entertaining musings follow me on Twitter.

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