Context: Many animal species have a genuine fear of losing the Y chromosome in the distant future. This has happened in some species that have naturally lost this chromosome. About Chromosome:
News Source: The Hindu
- It is a part of a cell in living things that decides the sex, character, shape, etc. that a person, an animal or a plant will have.
- In humans, in addition to the 22 pairs of chromosomes in each, we have a pair of sex chromosomes called X and Y.
- Sex as a specification is determined by these sex chromosomes. They carry sex-determining genes.
- All biological males have X and Y chromosomes and all biological females have two X chromosomes.
- The ‘sex-determining region Y’ on the Y chromosome determines the biological male sex.
- It is estimated to have emerged around 200-300 million years ago in a common ancestor of all mammals.
- The Y chromosome, is often referred to as the master of maleness.
- Scientists published the complete genetic sequence of the Y chromosome in 2003.
- This sequence provided an outline of 23 million bases of the 60 million or so bases that together make up the Y chromosome.
- In total, the chromosome encoded for only 55 genes and accounted for around 2% of the genetic material inside a cell.
- Men lose the Y chromosome (LoY) with age and this is associated with a higher frequency of cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, and a shorter lifespan. This has been corroborated by studies on mice models.
- The human Y chromosome is about one-third as big as the X chromosome. So, many animal species, including humans, have a genuine fear of losing the Y chromosome in the distant future.
- Species such as rodents have naturally lost their Y chromosome.
Juvenile Delinquent: Many researchers jokingly refer to the Y chromosome as the juvenile delinquent among chromosomes due to