Dec 10, 2022

Men are losing their Y chromosome, and rats could show our future

Posted by in categories: existential risks, sex

What alternative sex-determining system will we adapt?

The sex of human and other mammal babies is decided by a male-determining gene on the Y chromosome. But the human Y chromosome is degenerating and may disappear in a few million years, leading to our extinction unless we evolve a new sex gene.

A new paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science shows how the spiny rat has evolved a new male-determining gene.


The good news is two branches of rodents have already lost their Y chromosome and have lived to tell the tale.

Comments are closed.