When it was suggested a while back that, based on its rapid rate of genetic decay, the male Y sex chromosome was bound for extinction in five million years' time, women everywhere were like, "Haha, five million years' time can't come quickly enough—Am I right, ladies, am I right?"
Now, it seems plans for a man-free Amazon utopia may have been premature.
According to this article from the BBC, the theory of men's impending doomsday (dudemsday?) first leapt to prominence a decade ago, when scientists discovered that the genes of the male Y chromosome had withered in number from 1,400 three hundred million years ago to just 78 today. (Modern X chromosomes are composed of around 800 genes.)
However, while there is no denying the number of genes did take a drastic dip, new studies have found the amount of genetic decay in recent history to be minimal. In fact, that the human chromosome has only lost one gene in the past 25 million years.
Jennifer Hughes, a researcher from the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, summed up the developments as follows:
"The Y is not going anywhere and gene loss has probably come to a halt. We can't rule out the possibility it could happen another time, but the genes which are left on the Y are here to stay."
That's fine, guys. We'd hate to see you go.
(But would love to see you walk away—Am I right, ladies, am I right?)