The Y chromosome is disappearing. And the Y is the thing that makes men, male. So, you should, you know, probably be a bit worried.
In the confusing world of chromosomes men are XY, and women are XX (that’s the simple bit over.) But new evidence studies give some proof to the suggestion that the Y has been diminishing for quite some time – 166million years, in fact.
Back then, when mammals were first born, the ‘proto-Y’ was the same size as the X and contained all the same genes. Now, however, the Y is described as ‘shrivelled’ and ‘abnormal’ by scientists. Great choice of adjectives, lab coats.
The problem is that the Y doesn’t really do that much, and as with so many things if you don’t use it, you lose it. Its main role is a ‘master switch’ which dictates the gender of a person, this happens in the first trimester of pregnancy. Though