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Men set for 'extinction'?

world Updated: May 21, 2009 20:26 IST

PTI
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Men are on the road to extinction as their genes shrink and slowly fade away, a world-renowned British scientist has said.

Professor Jennifer Graves, a leading human sex chromosomes researcher with the Australian National University, Canberra, said the male Y chromosome needed to be a male was on the path to extinction and could run out within the next five million years.

Speaking at a lecture entitled 'The Decline and Fall of the Y Chromosome and the Future of Men', Prof Graves discussed the disappearance of the Y chromosome and the implications for humans.

"The Y chromosome is dying and the big question is what happens then," said Professor Graves, whose work on the past evolution of sex determination has paved the way for developments in diagnosis of gender disorders and gender-related disease in humans.

She, however, said men may follow the path of a type of rodent which still manages to reproduce despite not having the vital genes that make up the Y chromosome.

According to the top scientist, a second species of human beings could even be born in the future.