Y: The (not quite) Last Man

Human males will not exist in five million years’ time. So goes a popular line of thinking. But maybe it’s not quite right.

This week for BioNews, I report on a study that draws on 16 complete, high-coverage genomes and a bunch of mathematical models to show that the ‘male’ Y chromosome will be sticking around for a while. The little bastard may contain only 27 genes but they seem to be 27 genes that natural selection is holding onto.

Have a read.

Reference: Wilson Sayres, Lohmueller & Nielsen (2013). Natural selection reduced diversity on human Y chromosomes PLOS Genetics DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1004064